The Boggart

( 17 )

Overview

After visiting the castle in Scotland which her family has inherited and returning home to Canada, twelve-year-old Emily finds that she has accidentally brought back with her a boggart, an invisible and mischievous spirit with a fondness for practical jokes.

Returning home to Toronto, Canada, after visiting the Scottish castle inherited by her family, twelve-year-old Emily finds that she has accidentally brought back with her a boggart, an invisible and mischievous ...

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The Boggart

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Overview

After visiting the castle in Scotland which her family has inherited and returning home to Canada, twelve-year-old Emily finds that she has accidentally brought back with her a boggart, an invisible and mischievous spirit with a fondness for practical jokes.

Returning home to Toronto, Canada, after visiting the Scottish castle inherited by her family, twelve-year-old Emily finds that she has accidentally brought back with her a boggart, an invisible and mischievous spirit with a fondness for practical jokes.

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Editorial Reviews

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."

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
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."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689869303
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 258,550
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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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Reading Group Guide

1. Early on in The Boggart, the creature is described as "one of the Old Things of the world, he was not made for human warmth...A boggart, by his nature, feels warmth for no one." Yet this boggart also seems very human, even childlike, at times. What are some of the emotions he experiences? How do his emotional attachments and needs guide his behavior?

2. Why are most of the adults depicted in these novels reluctant to believe that the boggart exists? Would you also be skeptical? Why or why not?

3. The boggart is stung when Emily asks him to avoid getting her and her brother into trouble in The Boggart. "Didn't the girl know that boggarts live for mischief, not for harm?" What is the difference between mischief and harm? Does the boggart always understand the difference? Do you or your friends?

4. How could the boggart and the MacDevon clan, which includes modern day members Emily and Jessup Voinick, be related to each other? What is the old legend that links them?

5. Boggarts never die. What are the advantages of immortality? What are the disadvantages?

6. Even though he is an ancient creature, the boggart has a special affinity for computers. Jessup speculates that is because both the computer and the boggart are primarily made up of electrical impulses. What do you think? Could there be other reasons for the boggart's attraction to computers?

7. In his second adventure, the boggart seems more willing to communicate with humans. How does he do it? Why does he do it? Does he trust humans more? Does he need them more?

8. In The Boggart, the modern world is described as "a world which had driven out the Old Things and buried the Wild Magic deepunder layers of reason and time." Do you believe this is an accurate depiction of modern life? Do you think "Wild Magic" has been buried? Do you think it ever existed?

Projects and Research

1. In both novels, the boggart's antics capture the overheated attention of the media. Take note of how the media cover big stories in your community. Do you think the coverage is fair and factual? Do you think some stories get too much attention? Why?

2. On a map, track Emily and Jessup Volnick's journeys back and forth from Toronto to the west coast of Scotland. Be sure to include their stopovers in London and Edinburgh. If possible, work with a travel agent to map out exact itineraries by air, train, and road.

3. What would happen if the boggart visited your home or school? Would it be fun, disastrous, or a little of both? Write an original story.

4. The boggart sometimes communicates with humans in Gaelic. Find out more about this ancient language. In what countries or regions was it spoken? What language largely replaced Gaelic? Why? Try to find written examples of the language.

5. Imagine that you are a drama critic for a Toronto newspaper. Write a review of the extraordinary performance of Shakespeare's Cymbeline that occurs in The Boggart.

6. Emily and Jessup Volnik are from Canada, yet they are sometimes mistaken for U.S. citizens when they are in Scotland. The children are quick to point out their proper nationality. Research some of the social and cultural differences between the United States and Canada. Though the two countries have a long history of friendly relations, are there also points of disagreement? Which country has a stronger link to Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom? Why?

7. Emily and Jessup Volnik are from Canada, yet they are sometimes mistaken for U.S. citizens when they are in Scotland. The children are quick to point out their proper nationality. Research some of the social and cultural differences between the United States and Canada. Though the two countries have a long history of friendly relations, are there also points of disagreement? Which country has a stronger link to Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom? Why?

8. Prepare a feast fit for a boggart. Be sure to include a sampling of all his favorite foods-old treats as well as newfound delights.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Soooo goood

    Itts a great book with a great meaning

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    U r rite

    If u do look close u can see it holding a fish lol

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2012

    recommend

    i read this book as a kid and it was nice to read it again on my nook. i like how on the cover if you look closely you can see the boggart holding a fish

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2005

    Pretty Good Book

    It's not the best ever. In the begining it starts out pretty boring, but then you get into it. I gave it three stars because it's OK, but not great. O yea, the scariest thing about the book was on the book I got this girl with crutches and a blonde ponytail ... (i dont have crutches) but the girl's hair and face looked exactly like me ...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2004

    Great Book!!!!

    This book is funny, exciting, and great. It is also very entertaining. A book that once you start it you can't stop reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2004

    Tantalizing Tale of Old Legends and Mystery

    Wonderful story!!!! Old folk legends mixed with nischief mayhem and mystrey, Susan Cooper has done it again!!! = )

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2003

    Best Book Ever!!!!!!

    A thrilling book, filled with old magic. Emily and Jessup are two people I'll never forget! I highly recomend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2003

    My absolute favorite book

    The Boggart is my absolute favorite book. Susan Cooper has a true gift with storytelling that goes far beyond a quick children's read. Everything is described with such beauty and emotion, I think it has brought me to tears each of the many times I have read it. Her plot is well realized, and although simple, well connected. She brings in many elements such as Scottland and Macbeth to give the book depth; Shakespere and magic are reccuring themes in her other books. I think this book has many similar qualities to Harry Potter, But is lighter than the Phillip Pullman books. I reccomend this book to all ages, as long as you still believe in magic, even if its only a little. The tapes read by David Rintoul are also highly reccomended; he did an amazing job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2002

    This book is GREAT!!!!!

    I loved this book! It has fuuny and somewhat scary parts in it. I really wish Susan Cooper would write another book in the Boggart series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2001

    great book

    I really like the main character (The Boggart). He was a tricky and a fun guy. I liked the way he acted like a little kid.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2001

    A an outstanding book for big imaginations.

    I think that the book is a great book if you have an imagination. I think that the book would have been better if they would've had another chapter. I think this book has a lot of realistic scenes. This book also has a lot of desision-making such as should Emily tell her parents about the Boggart. I enjoyed this book and I do recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2000

    The Baggart rocks Its the BEST book Ive read

    If you like Harry Potter tham you will like this. Its just as magical as Harry Potter. BUY THIS BOOK!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2000

    Usagi... Just forget the other kid, he`s a psycho...needs therapy..

    I really love this book and should be thanking my teacher for letting me borrow it. If you plan on reading this book you might as well buy the other!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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