The Drum, the Doll, and the Zombie

The Drum, the Doll, and the Zombie

4.5 2
by John Bellairs, Brad Strickland
     
 

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When Johnny Dixon, Professor Childermass, and Fergie Ferguson have a party for their friend Dr. Coote, they expect the evening to be a blast - and it is! - but not quite the way they have in mind. As Fergie pounds out a rhythm on a small drum, a howling wind shakes the house and something explodes. Soon Johnny, the professor, and Fergie are in a battle with the… See more details below

Overview

When Johnny Dixon, Professor Childermass, and Fergie Ferguson have a party for their friend Dr. Coote, they expect the evening to be a blast - and it is! - but not quite the way they have in mind. As Fergie pounds out a rhythm on a small drum, a howling wind shakes the house and something explodes. Soon Johnny, the professor, and Fergie are in a battle with the fearsome Priests of the Midnight Blood for Dr. Coote's life - and their own.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Left unfinished by his untimely death in 1991, Bellairs' book was completed by Brad Strickland. It's hard to say how fragmentary the manuscript was, but the end result is vintage Bellairs. Eccentric professors and voodoo thrash it out with the help of Johnny Dixon and his buddy Fergie. Along the way kids meet a genuine zombie, a voodoo priestess, and learn quite a bit about folklore in a mythical island based on Haiti. Bellairs' believable style of gothic horror probably works so well precisely because he always layered it around a nineteen-fifties comfort zone. 1997 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Completed posthumously, this book offers readers another taste of Bellairs's macabre writing. During a party, noted folklorist Dr. Coole shows Professor Childremass, Johnny Dixon, and his friend Fergie a small drum and tells them a strange story about voodoo cults in Haiti and the Caribbean. A few casual taps on the drum set in motion a tale of terror that includes zombies, evil spells, and death threats. Set in the mid-1950s, the horror is subtle, yet detailed enough to appeal to fans of the television show Tales from the Crypt and readers too young for Stephen King. The ``gee whiz'' tone lends a touch of naivet, and some plot turns are a bit obvious, but readers of Dixon's last escapade, The Secret of the Underground Room (Dial, 1990), will not be disappointed.-Jeanette Larson, Texas State Library, Austin
Stephanie Zvirin
Flopping and thrashing about on the desk was a weird form, repulsive, slimy, drooling. The sounds it made were horrible, like the bawling of a baby animal in terrible pain. Descriptions in R. L. Stine's horror oeuvre can't match this stuff, which has the added benefit of being part of a story that has a tight plot and characters who actually have some personality. Readers may recognize Johnny Dixon, Fergie Ferguson, Father Higgins, and Professor Childermass from such books as "The Secret of the Underground Room" (1990). This time the group is battling zombies and exorcizing voodoo demons invoked by vicious Madame Sinestra, who has come to America in search of a drum that has special significance for her evil cult. There's suspense and action aplenty as Johnny, Childermass, and Fergie investigate the weird goings-on, with the spookiness nicely balanced by comedy that comes direct from the pompous but good-hearted professor. This ably devised bit of supernatural fun, completed by Strickland after Bellairs' death, is perfect for the preStephen King set.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780613048873
Publisher:
San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/28/1997
Series:
Johnny Dixon Mystery Ser.
Product dimensions:
5.22(w) x 7.78(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

John Bellairs is beloved as a master of Gothic young adult novels and fantasies. His series about the adventures of Lewis Barnavelt and his uncle Jonathan, which includes The House with a Clock in Its Walls, is a classic. He also wrote a series of novels featuring the character Johnny Dixon. Among the titles in that series are The Curse of the Blue FigurineThe Mummy, The Will,   and The CryptThe Spell of the Sorcerer’s Skull; and others. His solo novel The Face in the Frost is also regarded as a fantasy classic, and among his earlier works are St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies and The Pedant and the Shuffly.
 
Bellairs was a prolific writer, publishing more than one dozen novels before his untimely death in 1991.
 
Brad Strickland has written and cowritten forty-one novels, many of them for younger readers. He is the author of the fantasy trilogy Moon Dreams, Nul’s Quest, and Wizard’s Mole, and the creator of the popular horror novel Shadowshow. With his wife, Barbara, he has written for the Star Trek Young Adult book series, for Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? book series, and for Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (Pocket Books). Both solo and with Thomas E. Fuller, he has written several books about Wishbone, public TV’s literature-loving dog. When he's not writing, he teaches English at Gainesville College in Gainesville, Georgia. He and Barbara have two children, Amy and Jonathan, and a daughter-in-law, Rebecca. They live and work in Oakwood, Georgia.

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