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An Interview With Simon Loxley


We have always been curious about who the fans of John Bellairs and Brad Strickland are and how their books and characters are remembered. In years past, we would take off into the trenches - finding web pages and reviews and, more often than not, come back with something worthy of sharing. We'd drop a note through our mailing list about the up-and-coming author or illustrator, musician, book collector, teacher, historian, filmmaker, web designer...whoever, whatever...the list goes on. As technology changed, so did our method of communication: a website, a blog, a forum or two, Twitter, and so on. 

You can review some of our collection after 20+ years:

John Bellairs Walk

The John Bellairs Walk is a walking tour of author John Bellairs's hometown, Marshall, Michigan, focusing on the area landmarks used as inspiration for places in his young-adult novels. The tour was the brainchild of Ann LaPietra, proprietor of the kids' place bookstore in Marshall from 1986 to 2006, who invented the tour to be similar to the city's annual Historic Home Tour. With guidance from both Marshall historian Richard Carver and correspondence from Bellairs himself, LaPietra's carefully researched list struck a chord with local residents who volunteered to portray the popular characters at significant points throughout the tour. In 1990 the tour won the Lucile Micheels Pannell Award, given by the Women's National Book Association to honor a creative program bringing children and books together. After LaPietra's death in 2007 the "organized" walk was all but disbanded, though the locations still exist. As such, the Walk is still alive online in her honor.

John Bellairs Mural

The John Bellairs Mural is an outdoor mural in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts, celebrating Bellairs and his association with Haverhill. The mural, created by Massachusetts artist Sheila Foley, measures 7-feet by 3-feet and is painted in acrylic on to one of the old brick factory buildings. It was unveiled in September 2008.