Green Boyby Susan Cooper
Long Pond Cay, in the Bahamas, is a magical white-sand island, and 12-year-old Trey and silent seven-year-old Lou love to visit its loneliness. But one day the magic becomes a nightmare, and suddenly they are in another world, strident, polluted, and overcrowded -- where little Lou is hailed not as a mute Bahamian boy but as the mythic hero Lugh, born to bring terrible destruction and renewal. Carried between worlds in a zigzag adventure of mounting tension and danger, the children risk their lives not only to save the alien world, but to ward off a new, parallel threat to their beloved Long Pond Cay. The forces of myth and nature explode together in an amazing climax.
This riveting and startlingly original fantasy is Newbery Award-winning author Susan Cooper's eleventh novel for children. Green Boy evokes the lyrical beauty of the outer Bahamian islands with a disturbing vision of a spoiled world ominously like our own.
The Newbery Awardwinning author of the series The Dark Is Rising brings young readers another adventure fantasy, an encouraging study of the unassuming power children have to change their worlds.
Twelve-year-old Trey and his little brother, Lou, a mute seven-year-old, live a simple, happy life with their grandparents on the fictitious Bahamian island of Lucaya. They have the run of the sea in the boat their grandfather gave them and spend most of their time on Long Pond Cay Island. There, they picnic under the casuarina trees, store favorite rocks and fossils in their secret cave, are friends with the local osprey, and marvel at the unspoiled beauty of their playground. Their world seems idyllic, until a foreign corporation suddenly threatens to "develop" Long Pond Cay into a tourist resort. Then something even more unexpected happens: Between tides on Long Pond Cay one day, the two enter the mysterious "Otherworld" -- Pangaia, a frighteningly overcrowded city-world where the natural environment has been destroyed and where Lou is not merely a mute little boy but the prophesied hero Lugh, born to replenish the world with trees. The boys shuttle back and forth between worlds, amid dangers they've never before known, in order to save Pangaia, their future, and Long Pond Cay, their present. But is Lou/Lugh's power strong enough to prevail, before Long Pond Cay is gone forever?
In Green Boy, Susan Cooper not only tells an action-packed story of personal survival and family loyalty but also presents a powerful social argument for young readers to ponder: What's more important, an unspoiled natural environment or corporate development? In addition, readers will love the sweetness and strength of Trey and Lou, Trey's protectiveness of his little brother, and their obvious affection for each other. (Michele D. Thomas)
“Cooper … writes movingly about the beauty of the Bahamas."
"An intriguing and truly lovely book."
"Cooper...hints at her virtuoso ability to deepen everyday occurrence into resonant mythic narrative."
"The lyrical nature writing evokes the fragility and the power of a spider's silk, the miracle of a seashell, the physical connections of the wind, water, and sand."
"Real moments of near-tangible peace."
Read an Excerpt
It was a little fluttering sound in the roof, moving. The living room of Grand's house reaches up high, with beams across it, and one side open to the porch. Along the top beam the little sound ran, very soft, you could scarce hear it. Then at the wall it turned, and came fluttering down a side beam. You could begin to see a shape now. So small: was it a moth? A spider?
Lou was watching. He moved toward it.
"Careful," I said. "Don't touch. Might be poisonous."
The little fluttering thing slid down to the floor and rested there. I saw a tiny foot. It was a bird.
Lou crouched down beside it and put out his hand. Somehow he knew how to rest his finger behind the bird's feet so it stepped onto his hand. Then you could see clear: it was a tiny hummingbird, and it was all wound around with sticky spider-silk, so that it couldn't fly, nor hardly walk. It must have blundered into a powerful big spider's web. Now it was all trussed up, terrified, there on the palm of Lou's hand.
Lou made a little comforting sound at the back of his throat. Slowly and very carefully, with his other hand, he pulled the fine sticky strands away from the bird's legs and wings. His fingers were so small and gentle; after all, he's only seven years old. The bird didn't move.
There it stood on his palm, bright green, an emerald hummingbird. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Its throat was red, and its feathers all different shades of green, gleaming. The spider-silk was all gone now, but still the bird didn't move. It must have been totally exhausted.
Lou gazed and gazed at the bird, and the bird looked back at Lou.
"Take it outside," I whispered. We moved out of the room, across the porch, to the hibiscus hedge, all starred with yellow-centered red flowers like trumpets. Hummingbirds love hibiscus. But the tiny bird still rested there on Lou's hand, not moving; as though it was giving Lou a present, staying so that he could look.
It was so beautiful, I can't tell you.
At last it flew, and hovered beside a flower, and darted away.
"Oh man," I said. I couldn't think of anything else to say, it was so amazing.
Lou smiled at me, and made his happy sound, that's as close as he can get to a laugh.
My brother Lou doesn't talk, and he has a few other problems too. He's different. But I'm used to it. My name is Trey, and I'm a writer, I look after him. I'm twelve years old. This is my book, the story of what happened to Lou and me.
Copyright © 2002 by Susan Copper
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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So far this is an amazing book
This is an okay book. When I started reading it it was fine but once you got more into the book it got more confusing since they time travel. It was hard to tell when they time traveled so a little confusing.
Green Boy is a story of a family living on Long Pond Cay in the Bahamas. Trey and his silent brother Lou are the two main characters of the book, and they love to fish and play on the beaches of the island. However, when the government wants to turn long Pond Cay into an island resort the boys and their family are terrified. One day when the boys are playing on the island, they are transported to this magical place where they see the effects of pollution and overpopulation. Lou is considered a hero because he can listen to what the talking tree can say. Lou saves the underworld from corruption and Long Pond Cay is hit by a devastating hurricane and the government decides to withdraw the proposed resort and Long Pond Cay is saved forever. I think the story is well written, however some parts get confusing when Lou and Trey are in the underworld. For a long time the underworld is unexplained which leaves the reader confused for the majority of the story. However, Susan Cooper does a great job of stimulating the imagination of the reader. I graded the book with 3 stars because I feel it is just that; okay, but not great.