Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs

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(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The Curse of the Blue Figurine is typical of most of Bellairs's adventure novels. It contains elements of the supernatural, which gives the adventures of his young hero an air of mystery. The main character, like most of Bellairs's heroes, is a somewhat timid boy, physically awkward and withdrawn from his schoolmates, who scorn his lack of athletic skill and resent his superior ability as a student. Yet young Johnny Dixon possesses the courage that Bellairs believes all truly good young people have. In this tale, Johnny teams with his mentor, Professor Childermass, a professor at a university near Johnny's New England home, to defeat the evil spirit of a longdead priest who had dabbled in witchcraft. The mutual support the young boy and the aged professor offer each other and the willingness of each to endanger himself in order to protect the other demonstrate the capacity for courage and selflessness within apparently unheroic individuals—the kind of characters with whom...

(The entire section is 328 words.)