The House With A Clock In Its Walls by John Bellairs

Just in time for Halloween, I dedicate this Fantasy Friday to a classic of horror and fantasy - The House With A Clock In Its Walls.

Lewis is recently orphaned and on his way to live with an uncle he's never met before. He's also slightly overweight and slightly nerdy - the pages of his many books are stained with chocolate. He hasn't had the happiest or most exciting life and he doesn't expect that to change, ever.

Fortune seems to be favoring Lewis when it turns out that Uncle Jonathan is a magician. And not a parlor tricks kind of magician, but a real, live wizard! Lewis' new house is a strange and wonderful old mansion with hidden passages and trick staircases. In no time at all, Uncle Jonathan and the good witch next door, Mrs. Zimmerman, introduce Lewis to a fantastic world of adventures to different lands, star gazing, spells, and delicious chocolate chip cookies.

The one problem with Uncle Jonathan's house is the ticking clock hidden in the walls. It's a constant ticking that gets louder and faster every day. What is the clock ticking down to? Where in the house is it hidden? And will Lewis survive his encounter with the clock's diabolical creator?