by Steve Ericson (1998)
(Originally published at the compleatbellairs.com)
Hopping back onto my trolley to yesterday, I visit a boy in the Sixth grade. A boy who was mad at the world, bitter, shy, withdrawn, and with nothing in the world to call his own. When I was in the Sixth Grade at Mountview Middle School, I was a little punk who had never yearned to pick up a book and read. I had little to no imagination, and no passion in my life. One day along came a Reading Teacher who thought it would be a nice change of pace to stop working on Fridays and read to us. The first book she produced, and for good reason, was The House with A Clock In Its Walls by some guy named Bellairs. She explained up front to us that it was a mystery, which turned me off right away. The thought of mystery evoked images of a whodunnit, and those never excited me. She also told us that the author, John Bellairs, was coming to visit our school in a few months. I thought little of it.