The Boggart

The Boggart

4.4 17
by Susan Cooper
     
 

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In a tumbledown castle in the Western Highlands of Scotland lives the Boggart. He is invisible -- an ancient mischievous spirit, solitary and sly, born of a magic as old as the rocks and the waves. He has lived in Castle Keep for centuries, playing tricks on the owners. But the last Scottish owner has died and left the castle to his great-nephew Robert Volnik of… See more details below

Overview

In a tumbledown castle in the Western Highlands of Scotland lives the Boggart. He is invisible -- an ancient mischievous spirit, solitary and sly, born of a magic as old as the rocks and the waves. He has lived in Castle Keep for centuries, playing tricks on the owners. But the last Scottish owner has died and left the castle to his great-nephew Robert Volnik of Toronto, Canada. The Volnik family -- including Emily and her nine-year-old computer genius brother Jessup -- visit Castle Keep, and when they return to Toronto, they unwittingly take the Boggart with them.
The astonishments, delight, and horrors that invade their lives with the arrival of the Boggart fill this swiftly moving story. The collision of modern techology and the Old Magic brings perils nobody could have imagined -- and, in the end, an amazing and touching solution to the problem of the Boggart who has found himself on the wrong side of the ocean.
Sometimes extremely funny, sometimes wildly scary,and always totally absorbing, this remarkable story -- brilliantly imagined and beautifully written -- marks the return of the Newbery Award winner Susan Cooper to the field of novels for young readers. An outstanding achievement, The Boggart will work its special magic on all who read it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Newbery Medalist Cooper (The Grey King) spins a tale both haunting and comic, in which a Scottish spirit inadvertently moved to Canada pines for his ancestral manse. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
The author, best known for her "Dark is Rising" series, blends fantasy and reality in her newest novel. A mischievous spirit is transported from his Scottish castle to the Canadian home of two young adolescents, one of whom is a computer genius. Old magic and new technology mingle with mystery, suspense, humor and messages about pompous adults who wrongly judge kids in the throes of adolescence.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-- The Volnik family inherits a rundown old castle on an island off Scotland and visits their new property. After returning home, 12-year-old Emily and 10-year-old Jessup notice strange things happening. Their detective work eventually discloses the cause--a mischievous boggart has accidentally become trapped in a piece of furniture the family shipped home to Canada. Unfortunately, no adults believe them. The children claim innocence on Halloween night as pieces of furniture fly through the air and a bucket of water soaks their mother. Eventually, the boggart's pranks begin to cause serious problems; he becomes intrigued with the power of electricity, and causes a traffic accident that lands Emily in the hospital. Finally, he learns to communicate with the children by computer, causing the message-- ``I want to go to my own country''--to appear in Gaelic on Jessup's screen. When he gets trapped in a black hole in a computer space-adventure game, the youngsters devise a daring, risky, and ultimately successful plan to help the boggart return home. The novel is fleshed out with numerous, vividly realized secondary characters, including various actors at the Chervil Playhouse, where Mr. Volnik is artistic director, as well as the novel's true villain, Dr. Stigmore, a psychiatrist and a parapsychology scholar who insists that Emily is a troubled adolescent in need of hospitalization. The intelligently thought-out clash between the ancient folkloric creature and modern science guarantees a wide audience. A lively story, compelling from first page to last, and a good bet for a read-aloud. --Ellen Fader, Westport Public Library, CT
Stephanie Zvirin
In this winning mixture of fantasy and reality, Cooper shows us that ancient magic and computers aren't as far apart as we might think. When 12-year-old Emily Volnik receives the desk she sent back to her Canadian home from Castle Keep, the Scottish castle her family inherited from a distant relative, she has no idea that opening it will loose the Boggart, a mischievous spirit who's lived in the castle for centuries. But liberate him she does, and his contact with the modern-day world and with Emily and her younger brother, Jess, leads to all kinds of humorous and dramatic consequences--not the least of which is unpleasant Dr. Stigmore's theory that the onset of Emily's puberty has caused her to become psychokinetic. Emily and Jess eventually endear themselves to us, but it's the Boggart--who loves peanut butter and ice cream and the joy of turning people's lives upside down--who's the real charmer here. Like a mischievous child, too young to realize the consequences of actions, the Boggart is maddening and endearing in the same breath, and when he returns to his castle home, readers will miss him every bit as much as Jess and Emily will.
starred review The Horn Book
*"The Boggart is a fascinating character, sly, ingenious, and endearing...What is most admirable is Susan Cooper's seamless fusion of the newest technology and one of the oldest forms of wild magic."
The New York Times Book Review
"Ms. Cooper's grasp of reality is as firm as her hold on the surreal...as long as writers with Susan Cooper's skill continue to publish, magic is always available."
From the Publisher
*"The Boggart is a fascinating character, sly, ingenious, and endearing...What is most admirable is Susan Cooper's seamless fusion of the newest technology and one of the oldest forms of wild magic."

*"[T]old with Cooper's usual imagination and grace; the Boogart is entrancing—a magically witty mix of fey spirit, comfort-loving cat, old man set in his ways, and child taking gleeful delight in his own mischief—of which there is plenty, all splendidly comical."

"The intelligently thought-out clash between the ancient folkloric creature and modern science guarantees a wide audience. A lively story, compelling from first page to last, and a good bet for a read-aloud."

"Ms. Cooper's grasp of reality is as firm as her hold on the surreal...as long as writers with Susan Cooper's skill continue to publish, magic is always available."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689832512
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
12/12/2001
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
361,453
Lexile:
1030L (what's this?)
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Susan Cooper is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her classic five-book fantasy sequence The Dark Is Rising won the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor and has sold millions of copies worldwide. She is also the author of Victory, a Booklist Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth book and a Washington Post Top Ten for Children novel; King of Shadows, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor book; The Boggart; Seaward; Ghost Hawk; and many other acclaimed novels for young readers and listeners. She lives in Massachusetts, and you can visit her online at TheLostLand.com.

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