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THE DRUM, THE DOLL, AND THE ZOMBIE by John Bellairs

THE DRUM, THE DOLL, AND THE ZOMBIE

By John Bellairs (Author) , Brad Strickland (Author)

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-8037-1462-9
Publisher: Dial

Johnny Dixon and curmudgeonly -- extra-curmudgeonly in this outing -- Professor Childermass battle a voodoo priestess and her grandson for control of a powerful drum, in this, the third posthumous Bellairs adventure seamlessly "completed" by Strickland. A small ceremonial drum falls into the possession of Dr. Charles Coote, Childermass's friend. Shortly after hiding it, Coote lands in the hospital, delirious -- the work, it turns out, of the fearsome Mama Sinestra, a Priest of the Midnight Blood from the (fictional) Caribbean island of St. Ives. Tracking down Mama Sinestra (who is of French descent, not African) involves the zombie attacks, midnight graveyard visits, ambushes, reversals of fortune, nick-of-time rescues, and weird magic that are Bellairs's staples, as well as the discovery and destruction of a pair of particularly hideous soul-suckers Mama has tucked into people's pillows -- "It glistened a sick, wet, silvery-gray color, like the slimy belly of a slug. The head showed no eyes or nose, just a pouchy, drooling mouth..." Sweet dreams, readers. But all's well that ends well as Mama Sinestra and her cohorts are vanquished, the drum is destroyed (spectacularly), a revolution on St. Ives topples the ruling cult, and Johnny's long-absent father takes military leave to put in an appearance. Formulaic but effective. (Fiction. 10-12)