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The Boggart by Susan Cooper Review

Title: The Boggart

Author: Susan Cooper

First published January 1, 1993

196 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9781416905271 (ISBN10: 1416905278)

Rating: 3.76


When the Volnik family inherits a remote and dilapidated Scottish castle, they get more than just a property. They also inherit the Boggart, a playful and invisible spirit that has been causing trouble for the castle’s residents for centuries.

But when the Boggart accidentally gets trapped in a rolltop desk and shipped to the Volniks’ home in Toronto, chaos ensues. The Boggart’s mischievous pranks leave the family bewildered, and they soon discover that their new friend is not just a figment of their imagination.

In a world that dismisses the idea of magic, the Boggart’s antics create mayhem, and even the joys of peanut butter and pizza can’t keep him entertained. All he wants is to go back home, but his only chance lies in a dangerous blend of ancient magic and modern technology.

Join the Volnik family and the Boggart on an adventure of a lifetime, as they navigate through the realms of magic and technology in a quest to send the Boggart back to his rightful home.

About the Author

Susan Cooper, acclaimed author of the five-book fantasy series “The Dark Is Rising,” has had a fascinating life. Born in 1935 in Buckinghamshire, England, Cooper spent her childhood reading and writing with her younger brother, who also became a writer.

After studying at Oxford, where she made history as the first woman to edit the university’s newspaper, Cooper worked for London’s Sunday Times as a reporter and feature writer. Interestingly, her first boss was none other than Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.

Cooper’s first book for young readers, “Over Sea, Under Stone,” was written in response to a publishing competition. This book would eventually become the first in “The Dark Is Rising” series, which garnered critical acclaim and won the Newbery Medal in 1976 for its fourth installment, “The Grey King.” By this time, Cooper had been living in the United States for 13 years, having moved to marry her first husband – an American professor – and become a stepmother to three children while giving birth to two of her own.

Throughout her career, Cooper has written numerous other books that have been well-received by readers and critics alike. Her works include “The Boggart” and its sequel “The Boggart and the Monster,” “King of Shadows,” and “Victory,” as well as several picture books for young readers.

She has also written books for adults and collaborated on plays and Emmy-nominated screenplays with her late husband, actor Hume Cronyn.

Cooper’s most recent projects include “The Exquisite Corpse Adventure,” a collaborative writing project, and her biography of Jack Langstaff, “The Magic Maker.” Her latest book, “Ghost Hawk,” is a young adult novel that was published in 2013. When she’s not writing, Cooper enjoys playing the piano, gardening, and traveling.

If you’d like to keep up with her latest news and musings, be sure to check out her Facebook pages.

Editoral Review

The Boggart by Susan Cooper is a delightful children’s book that was first published on January 1, 1993. Susan Cooper is a well-known British author who has won numerous awards for her works, including the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal.

The book is a fantasy adventure that will capture the imagination of young readers and adults alike. The Boggart is set in the Scottish Highlands, where a mischievous creature named the Boggart resides in a centuries-old castle.

The castle is owned by the MacDevon family, and their youngest member, Emily, is visiting from Canada. Emily discovers the Boggart and, taking him for a ghost, unwittingly brings him with her back to Canada.

The Boggart’s antics are hilarious as he struggles to adapt to modern technology and wreaks havoc on Emily’s hometown. His mischief-making eventually leads to a confrontation with a ruthless businessman who wants to destroy the beloved islands where Emily’s family has lived for centuries, and the Boggart takes it upon himself to save his new friends.

Cooper’s writing is engaging and captivating, with well-drawn characters and vivid descriptions of the Scottish countryside. She has a keen sense of humor and a love of folklore that comes across in her writing.

The Boggart’s Scottish origins are lovingly depicted, and the book is an excellent way to introduce children to the rich cultural history of the Highlands. One of the book’s strengths is its exploration of the differences between old traditions and modern technology, and how they can coexist.

The Boggart’s struggle to understand telephones and computers is humorous but also highlights the importance of preserving cultural heritage in a rapidly changing world. However, the book does have a few drawbacks.

The pacing is slow in places, and some of the dialogue may be difficult for younger readers to follow. Additionally, Emily’s character is somewhat underdeveloped, and the book would have benefited from more exploration of her relationship with the Boggart.

Overall, The Boggart is a charming and enjoyable read, perfect for children who love fantasy and adventure. It is a timeless tale that will appeal to all ages and serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving cultural heritage in a rapidly changing world.

I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and engaging read. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars