The Letter, The Witch, & The Ring by John Bellairs


The Letter, The Witch, and The Ring is the final book in John Bellairs trilogy and was a great ending to this series for young adults. This series was first published in the 70’s and I’m sure it’s well known by many children’s and young adult author’s today.

The last book in the series turns it’s focus from Lewis to Rose Rita, Lewis’ best friend. Lewis has gone off to boy scout camp for the summer and Rose Rita is upset because she is left alone, without her friend. Rose Rita is also going through an identity crisis. She’s 13 and finding that she’s not like other girls. She’d rather dress like a boy and play sports. She’s more about adventure and wants to go to boy scout camp with Lewis. Mrs. Zimmerman, Lewis’ next door neighboor, picks up on Rose Rita’s sadness and offers her an adventure for the summer.

Mrs. Zimmerman has received a letter from her recently deceased cousin. He has left her his farm in his will and along with the farm, he has left her a magic ring. Mrs. Zimmerman is an experienced witch and doesn’t know if the ring truly exists but thinks it’s in her best interest to go investigate. Her and Rose Rita embark on a summer adventure with many twists and turns in what is definitely the most suspenseful novel of the trilogy.

I really enjoyed this series. The books are witty, adventurous, gloomy, magical, and above all very human. Great for children. Bellairs did a great job examining real life issues in children and young adults. Lewis is a child dealing with the loss of both of his parents, being over weight, unpopular, and not your “typical male”. Rose Rita is a tomboy, likes sports, hates dresses, and likes to hang out with boys. He addresses these issues perfectly and builds these characters as strong, bold, unique individuals that are empowered and brave. Two thumbs way up for John Bellairs!

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12 Responses

  1. Yep, I think as part of my Summer of The Library I am going to have to go check these out.

    You’ve been cranking through the books lately! Did Annie give you motivation> 😉

  2. It must be Annie 😉 She’s something else huh? Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on with me lately, but I’ve been a reading fool! Now I have these new Gaiman books….Lord knows what kind of madness that’s going to create!!!

  3. Wow, you sure read these fast! They sound like fast and satisfying reads. You’ve convinced me – I’m definitely putting them on my R.I.P. list.

  4. Very fast and very satisfying Nymeth! And if you order the Best of John Bellairs from Barnesandnoble.com you get all 3 in one book for $9.99! can’t beat that! You’ll love them. Very fun reads 🙂

  5. Unfortunately Barnes & Nobles is off-boundaries for me – international shipping would make it more like $29.99, and plus packages from the US are generally taxed :\

    BUT! bookdepository has the individual books for about £3 each, and their shipping is free! Plus, I really like the covers you posted, so I might as well get those editions!

  6. Yikes! Yeah, I’d stay away from B&N if I were you then! I just discovered Bookdepository the other day..what a cool site! I really like the individual covers too…They’re neat!

    I don’t know why B&N charges so much for shipping! That’s ridiculous. I know it costs a little more to ship over seas, but not that much! Stupid, stupid, stupid….

  7. These sound like fun books. I’m also laughing right now because I mentioned to Carl today on the phone ” Chris is blazing through books over on his blog. I’m feeling really slow right now. 🙂 “
    He agreed you were tearing it up.

    I’ve never heard of the book depository. Another cool book site to check out. Sweet!

  8. Jeff, this is a very rare occurrence for me indeed. I’m usually a pretty slow reader…I think it’s because these books were really short. After all, it took me almost a month to read A Game of Thrones! I found out about bookdepository.com through booksprice.com which is another cool site that shops around for the cheapest price for you 😉 The only downer about bookdepository.com is that the prices are in pounds so you need to do conversions which sucks if you’re lazy like me :p But shipping is free!

  9. Thanks for the book websites info. I really haven’t bought many books online. Mostly I just pick them up in brick and mortar stores ( new and used ) but I want to start looking online for better deals and better selection. I do love being able to pick a book in the store though; see the cover art, read some of the text, pick out a copy in great condidtion, etc. I just don’t get that same satisfaction online.

    I hear you when it comes to reading speed. As much as I love the George RR Martin books they are so HUGE. I think the last one, A Feast For Crows, tooks me 3 months of on and off reading.

  10. Jeff, Yeah, I’d much prefer buying them at the brick and mortar stores as well…though getting a package in the mail is fun too 😉 I like having the book immediately and not having to pay for shipping. Definitely a plus.

  11. Man, John Bellairs. Until you started reviewing these, I hadn’t thought of him in years. When I was maybe 8 I read Chessmen of Doom and I remember being confused, so I figured the book was “too hard for me.” If only Amazon.com reviews had existed then; people complain of logical holes.

    But even so, the book left an impression and stands out to me for some reason. I guess it’s time to revisit him.

    Stop adding to my list, it’s long enough!

  12. Scott, I’ve got your Amazon list beat 😉 At least a couple of weeks ago I did…Chessmen of Doom..I like that man’s titles, I may have to read that one. These books were awesome, I’m surprised they’re not more well known!

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