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Decades ago, Evaristus Sloane invented a baseball-playing robot. It could pitch a fastball at a hundred and ten miles per hour, but it also had big, vacant, blue glass eyes that gave Johnny Dixon's grampa the willies. Now, fifty years later, in the fifth book of the Johnny Dixon mystery series, Johnny's friend Professor Childermass puts the robot back together. It's only after he puts its chilling eyes back in their sockets that the professor realizes his mistake. An evil killing machine has been awakened. Soon, Johnny gets kidnapped as the final part of Evaristus Sloane's plan to bring his robot to life--using Johnny's eyes. Can the professor and Fergie make it to Sloane's mansion in time to save Johnny? Can they overcome the evil wizard's most horrifying creation? "A unique plot, marvelous characters, and non-stop suspense make for deliciously wicked fun." -Booklist
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John Anthony Bellairs (1938–1991) is an award-winning American author, perhaps best known for his fantasy novel The Face in the Frost. He is also the author of many gothic mystery novels for children and young adults, including The House with a Clock in its Walls (which received both the New York Times Outstanding Book of Award and the American Library Association Children's Books of International Interest Award), The Lamp from the Warlock’s Tomb (which won the Edgar Allen Poe Award), and The Specter from the Magician’s Museum (which won the New York Public Library "Best Books for the Teen Age" Award.
Grade 5-8 Johnny Dixon and Professor Childermass, along with their friend Byron "Fergie" Ferguson, are back in another imaginative chiller. Here the three are pitted against Evaristus Sloane, an insane wizard and inventor. But even more frightening than Sloane is a robot he invented some 50 years before. The robot was built to look like a baseball player and to pitch balls, but the Professor, Johnny, and Fergie discover a much darker side to the mechanism. After finding the dismantled robot in an abandoned house, the Professor reassembles it. But after placing its eyes back in the empty sockets, the Professor realizes too late that he has resurrected a killer machine. Not only must the robot be stopped but also its mad inventor before Johnny loses his eyes and his life to a terrifying scheme. As always, Bellairs skillfully runs a current of evil just beneath the surface of the commonplace. The supernatural is mixed with the ordinary so effortlessly and so naturally as to make even the most bizarre people and situations seem possible in a very unsettling way. A unique plot, marvelous characters, and non-stop suspense make for deliciously wicked fun. Drew Stevenson, Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca, N.Y.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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