The Figure in the Shadows

The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs

The sequel to The House with a Clock in its Walls, but could be a stand alone. The author references the previous book, but if you have not read it, or read it years ago, the references will not be lost or hard to understand. Lewis Barnavelt, sadly did not learn his lesson about playing with magic, thankfully his best friend Rosa Rita knows that Uncle Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmermann are the best people to get help from. Lewis, still scared and being bullied by classmates, gets an amulet from his great-grandfather’s chest and using a book Mrs. Zimmermann wrote plays with magic once again. Lewis accidentally brings back an evil figure and after realizing his confidence was not always under his control he tells Rosa Rita. Rosa Rita hides the amulet from Lewis. Lewis finds the amulet and Rosa Rita realizes that Lewis is in trouble and goes to Uncle Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmermann for help and explain everything. Thankfully, the three of them rush off to rescue Lewis, which means the next book will hopefully be a new lesson for Lewis.

Character List/Book Summary:

Lewis Barnavelt – fat and moonfaced, living with his uncle for just over a year, finds an amulet in his great-grandfather’s chest and is convinced it must be magical, cannot control himself when he wears the amulet. Tells Rosa Rita about the amulet, and betrays her trust to get the amulet back.

Rosa Rita Pottinger – Lewis’s best friend, a year older than Lewis but in his class, a tomboy, likes Lewis even when he runs away from helping her in a fight. Realizes that Lewis took her key to get the amulet back. Tells Uncle Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman about the magic coin and refuses to leave when they go to rescue Lewis. Mrs. Zimmerman’s charm works on keeping her safe.

Mrs. Florence Zimmermann – Jonathan’s neighbor, crazy about purple, a witch.

Grandpa Barnavelt – won the coin/amulet in a poker game, got shot and missed a battel that killed everyone. Won the coin from Walter Finzer (rumored that he set fire to kill Eliphaz Moss)

Miss Haggerty – Lewis and Rosa Rita’s 6th grade teacher

Jonathan Barnavelt – Lewis’s uncle, red beard, wizard, opens his father’s chest after Lewis has his hat stolen

Woody Mingo – bullies Lewis, steals his Sherlock Holmes hat, Lewis fights him when he is wearing the amulet

Mr. Hartwig – gym teacher at school, tells Lewis it takes weeks start seeing the effects of workouts

Joe DiMaggio – bum in new Zebedee who wears a Yankees ball cap

Miss Geer – Librarian who Lewis runs to when he gets scared one night

Jute Feasel – running the plow for Capharnum County Public Works, comes across Jonathan, Rosa Rita, and Mrs. Zimmerman and gives them a ride to the middle of a field and calls for an ambulance for them. Helps Jonathan put the cover on the well after Lewis almost fell in.

Dr. Humphries – Lewis’s family doctor.


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