The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring

Narrated by: George Guidall
Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (115 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A rich, magical Gothic mystery from the legendary John Bellairs 

Rose Rita wishes she could go to camp like her best friend, Lewis. She's sure that boys get to have all the fun - until Mrs. Zimmermann offers her an adventure of her own. Mrs. Zimmermann's cousin Oley has left her his farm as well as a ring that he thinks is magic. But when the two arrive at the deserted farm, the ring has mysteriously vanished. What power does it have? And will the person who took it use the ring to do evil?

©1976 John Bellairs (P)2018 Recorded Books
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A swell tale wonderfully told by George Guidall

George could read the phonebook and it would be enjoyable. Mr. Bellairs work being a world better than that is a pleasure to listen to.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Lewis Barnavelt series takes a detour

This book is the third in the Lewis Barnavelt series and the author makes the interesting choice of essentially removing Lewis from the story. Instead, we focus on Rosarita, Lewis' best friend and her adventures with Mrs Zimmerman while Lewis is away at scout camp.

And quite the adventure it is too. Ancient artifacts, witchcraft, curses, Rosarita trying to decide if she wants to be a typical girl, and a 13 driving a car. Not a long story, but one with a lot going on. If anything, Rosarita makes a better protagonist than Lewis does, in that she is more prone to action rather than sitting and worrying about all the bad things that can happen.

As I understand it, this was the final book completed by John Bellairs before his passing. The rest of the series was completed by another writer based, largely on Mr Bellairs' notes. I plan on checking those out, but this book made me realize just how good this writer was. You have to wonder"what might have been".

I recommend this book.

4 people found this helpful

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be careful what you wish for

I have found that I am a admirer of mysteries thank you for such a good book. I have enjoyed the stories of Mrs Zimmerman and Lewis. The suspense keeps you listening on from beginning to end.

2 people found this helpful

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For girls who want to be brave

Great story with Rose Rita as the star! Bellairs has lots of magic and mystery as usual but this time it is a story about a girl being brave.It also features Mrs. Zimmerman prominently which makes for a fun read. Particularly delightful are the conversations between the two regarding growing up, friendship and boys.

1 person found this helpful

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very entertaining

I am becoming more of a fan of John Bellairs with each book... This book was very interesting and action packed. It was written primarily with Ms. Zimmerman and Rose Rita as the main storyline characters as opposed to Jonathan and Lewis.... so it was enjoyable to go down a different story path with those characters in the forefront.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CG
  • 02-13-20

Delightful!

Adolesence is not easy. This author makes it feel surmountable for all pre-teens, no matter who they are.

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A childhood favorite

I read this series as a child and retain fond memories of it for being exciting, creepy and engaging. It's been a treat to get to listen to them as an adult and find them still very enjoyable.

They're a little dated, being set in a kind of 1950s nostalgia--some of Rose Rita's issues around femininity stand out, as well as the absence of ANY characters of color--but the characters remain likable and the stories are a lot of fun. The wonderful narration only serves to enhance the books. If you have kids, or are a big kid yourself, I really recommend checking these out!

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Very Conflicted

I read this book as a kid. I checked it out from my Catholic school's library and, being of a bit of a spooky, paranormal bent, loved it. When I read it again now, as an adult, I am disappointed to find it dated and maybe even a little damaging. The main character struggles to come to terms with growing up and being female. To skip over quite a lot of detail, she is eventually dissuaded from wishing to be a boy. I think this could cause additional conflict for a child who is questioning their gender. This was not something I personally struggled with, so I didn't process it that way, but someone vulnerable could and I think that's something take into account.
I urge you to listen and think and make your own conclusions.

2 people found this helpful