First up: John was by no means a dummy in math but it wasn't his forte, recalls longtime friend Alfred Myers:
One story that he told on himself to illustrate that fact occurred during his Boston years. He was at a movie and was approached by an African American boy who wanted change for a quarter to buy gum or something from a vending machine. John fished through his pockets but came up with only four nickels. He thereupon took the boy's quarter, gave him the four nickels and said, "That's O.K. kid, keep the change!"
Next are some thoughts from Kenneth Hite:
I always get a thrill-rush out of the juvenile horror fiction by John Bellairs. Good plots, not too overbearingly juvie, excellently written, fine sense of the odd and of the humorous. Read 'em when you're sleepy (in about an hour and a half) and you'll get the effect. I still get chills out of Bellairs's The Dark Secret of Weatherend.