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Green Boy Paperback – September 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Repackage edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689847602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689847608
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,636,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

In her 11th affecting fantasy novel for young adults, Newbery Medal-winning author Susan Cooper (The Dark Is Rising sequence) writes again of the clash between good and evil. Bahamians Trey, age 12, and his mute brother Lou, 7, find themselves tugged between two parallel worlds: their own happy island life, threatened by big-business developers, and a murky, sinister otherworld called Pangaia, entered accidentally through a magical window between worlds. In a series of journeys between the two realms, Lou is saluted by underground rebels as their mythic savior Lugh, and the siblings are asked to lead the Greenwar against the Government ("the destroyers"). Along the way, Trey and Lou encounter hideous mutant insects, murderous floods in tunnels, helicopter attacks, and capture by the pro-progress, high-tech Government. Although the plot is occasionally convoluted, Susan Cooper fans will be drawn deep into the story, with its zealous Luddite-styled green guerrillas and the equally ardent progress extremists. Lou and Trey are enormously likeable, and the tropical island setting is beautifully portrayed. Ultimately, nature, myth, and destiny crash together in a breathtaking climax that will leave readers of all ages contemplating the direction our own world is taking. (Ages 9 to 13) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the fictitious Bahamanian island of Lucaya, Cooper's (The Dark Is Rising) latest fantasy begins with restful images of whistling ducks, bonefish and casuarina trees, but soon quickens its pace as two worlds collide for 12-year-old Trey and his "strange and special" younger brother. Although seven-year-old Lou is mute, he finds ways to communicate in his own world and in the "Otherworld" of Pangaia (referencing Gaia, also known as the earth goddess). At home, in their world, Lou and Trey's granddad wages a battle against developers who wish to create a resort on their unspoiled island. Meanwhile, in the Otherworld, Lou is the prophesied hero who solves a riddle and then transforms into a giant Green Man flowing with vegetation and rids it of its pollution. The message is clear: Pangaia portends the earth's future. In each setting, the narrative gives way to moments of preachiness or melodrama about protecting our environment; at the island meetings, for instance, winter residents, or "yachties," become contrite about their past sins and the "greenies" in Pangaia are labeled "terrorists" by the government officials. A subplot involving the boys' father wraps up a bit quickly and, in a somewhat contrived scenario, the idyllic Bahamian island is spared from development. As the story unfolds, however, young readers are likely to be pulled in by the sensitive portrayals of Trey and Lou, the mysterious adventures in Pangaia and the whirlwind climax. Ages 9-12.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Susan Cooper is best known for her acclaimed five-book fantasy sequence "The Dark is Rising," which won a Newbery Medal, a Newbery Honor Award, and two Carnegie Honor Awards. Born in England in 1935, she became a reporter and feature writer for the London Sunday Times--her first boss was James Bond creator Ian Fleming--before moving to the United States in 1963. Her first novels were "Mandrake" and the autobiographical "Dawn of Fear," followed by the complete Dark is Rising sequence (Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree). The sequence, deeply rooted in the rich heritage of Arthurian legend and Celtic mythology, is a classic work of children's literature, still in print after 40 years. Cooper went on to write other well-received children's novels, including "Seaward," "The Boggart" and its sequel "The Boggart and the Monster," "Green Boy," "King of Shadows," and "Victory," as well as several picture books for young readers with illustrators such as Ashley Bryan and Warwick Hutton. She has also written books for adults, as well as plays and Emmy-nominated screenplays (some in collaboration with her second husband, the actor Hume Cronyn). Recent books include the collaborative project "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure" and her biography of Jack Langstaff titled "The Magic Maker." Her latest young adult novel is "Ghost Hawk." Ms. Cooper lives in Marshfield MA. Visit her on Facebook or on her website at

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am a die-hard fan of Susan Cooper. I have read all of her books multiple times and never get tired of her incredible talent of weaving flawlessly together the elements of myth, fantasy, magic, and the timeless fight between good and evil. I was very excited to read "Green Boy"...and was very disappointed. Terribly disappointed! The story is basically a heavy-handed environmentalist tract, flimsily placed in a fantasy plot. I can't imagine what she was thinking. It is difficult to connect to any of the characters, and Cooper's usually flowing and descriptive prose is jarring and disconnected. The plot is contrived and clichéd, and I finished the book with a relieved sigh because I got through it, not because I had a desire to read it again. Though I will never pick up this book again, it hasn't tarnished my opinion of her other works, which are definitely worth reading over and over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Fowler on July 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Susan Cooper's work, and Green Boy did not disappoint. The style differs slightly from her other books I have read, but well it should, as it is set in the Bahamas. The plot is compelling and the descriptions of the Otherworld left me haunted by the environmental possibilities of our own world. Clearly she has a message here. However, the story works on its own and is a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sir Furboy on June 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Twelve year old Trey has a younger brother Lou. Lou does not speak and has epilpesy. They live in the idyllic Bahamas on a small island, which is under threat of a large development. A parallel world called Pangaia has been destroyed ny overdevelopment and pollution. Lou has been chosen by the people of the underworld to restore it back to a its former glory.

This is a good eco-tale, but for those of us brought up on the double Newberry award winning "Dark is Rising" sequence, this book will be a disappointment. There is still a small celtic element in the folk of Pangaia, and a strong mystical thread to the story. Nevertheless the world creation did not really seem to work form me. I loved the writing about the Bahamas, but I can barely bring Pangaia to mind at all. In any case it felt a little over-contrived. A cautionary tale that was simply not subtle enough

The ending of the story was pleasant, and I did enjoy this book. Nevertheless if I wanted to sell Susan Cooper as a writer to someone I would give them "The Dark is Rising" or her newer "Victory" or "The Boggart" in preference to this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Trey and his silent younger brother love to visit their special Bahamas cay, but when they discover that their visits are bringing them to a frightening future world, linked to their own, their become involved in fighting off an environmental threat to their own beloved home. Fantasy blends with more than a touch of realistic settings in this fast paced fantasy.
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