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The Boggart Paperback – August 1, 1995

4.1 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Boggart Series

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Paperback, August 1, 1995
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The Crimson Skew
Sweeping Fantasy for Middle Graders
The final volume in S.E. Grove's stunning, bestselling Mapmakers trilogy. Hardcover | See more for ages 9-12
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 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
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin (August 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689801734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689801730
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,382,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I think this is a great book because it has excitement in every chapter. The Boggart is an invisible spirit that can change into anything at any time. The characters in this book are a computer whiz named Jessup, his sister Emily, and a mischievous little devil called Boggart. Some of the pranks that the Boggart pulls are making the furniture fly around the mother's antique store and then going into Jessup's computer game and becoming a blue flame. This was a fun book to read, and I had trouble puting it down!
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Format: Paperback
Susan Cooper is best known for The Dark is Rising Sequence, a mix of modern fantasy, folklore and Arthurian legend. In "The Boggart" she goes into related but different territory, loosing an ancient Scottish spirit on a modern family. Often cute and very interestingly written.
The boggart has lived in a decayed Scottish castle for centuries, making harmless mischief and shapeshifting into different forms. But when the elderly caretaker dies, the castle is inherited by the Volnik family, modern Canadians who don't know about the boggart. They arrive in Scotland to check out their rather decrepit property; the boggart decides to take a nap inside a rolltop desk... right before the desk is shipped back to Toronto.
When the desk arrives, the boggart makes the most of his situation by wreaking havoc with the electricity, furniture, non-Scottish foods like pizza, and eventually with traffic. His tricks, though not malicious, can quickly spin out of control and become dangerous. But eventually he wants to go home, communicating with Emily and Jess through the computer. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to get a boggart back to Scotland -- especially when the adults believe the boggart is nonexistant, and an obnoxious parapsychologist is sniffing around.
Until relatively recently, few people knew about the mythical boggart (similar to the bogle). Cooper saves this book from being a typical story of a mythical creature wreaking havoc in the real world by using a little-known Celtic spirit; the result is that the boggart is charming and likable, almost childlike in its mischief, delight over electricity, and quickly-forgotten emotions. The best parts of the book are the ones from the boggart's point of view, such as its memory of a Scottish chieftain who died long ago.
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Format: Hardcover
Susan Cooper is best known for her five-part "The Dark is Rising" series, a sequence of fantasy novels that any self-respecting lover of fantasy should have on their bookshelf. Among her lesser known works is the time-slip adventure "King of Shadows", a picture book trilogy based on Celtic legends, and two stories chronicling the doings of a Scottish boggart: "The Boggart" and its sequel "The Boggart and the Monster".

In the Western Highlands of Scotland lives a mysterious and mischievous spirit known as a boggart. Living at the ancient Castle Keep (but often moving about the countryside), the creature of Wild Magic delights in the confusion and amusement that its daily tricks create. But when the elderly Duncan MacDevon dies in his sleep, the inheritance of the castle falls to his great-nephew Robert Volnik and his family living in Toronto, Canada.

The Volnik children are twelve-year old Emily and nine-year old computer-genius Jessup, who are surprised and delighted at the prospect at a holiday in Scotland. Their visit involves meeting Tommy Cameron (who secretly knows all about the boggart), seal-watching, sight-seeing and rationalising the strange occurrences at the Keep. As the holiday draws to a close each sibling is promised one bit of furniture each before the castle is sold: and Emily chooses a beautiful old writing desk. Unbeknownst to all, it is here that the boggart has curled itself up to slumber, and ends up travelling with them to Toronto.

The collision of the modern world and Wild Magic brings exactly what you'd expect: havoc. Exploring the technological wonders of this new world whilst keeping to its mandate of mischief making, the boggart eventually causes some rather dangerous mischief.
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Format: Paperback
Long before Harry Potter would have had us believe that boggarts were spirits that took the form of your darkest fears, Susan Cooper had the right idea. The author of the magnificent and accomplished, "The Dark Is Rising" series (not to be mistaken with the "His Dark Materials" series), Cooper set her sights a little younger with this loving free-flowing tale of the ultimate mischevious creature. Though relying on a couple ideas and motifs that will date this book far more than her better known series ever will, the story is a complete and wonderful accomplishment for an already accomplished artist.

The Boggart is an Old Thing, from the days of dark deep magic. It cannot die and lives only to play pranks and tricks on foolish humans. For countless centuries this particular Boggart has lived in the Castle Keep on an old abandoned island off the coast of Scotland. It loves the land and the man who lives in the castle, but when the old owner dies the Boggart is forced to meet the castle's new owners. That would be Volnik clan, with children Emily and Jessup in tow. The family is Canadian and it is only through a miscalculation on the Boggart's part that they find themselves shipping the wayward spirit back to Toronto where they live. After figuring out that their house is now home to the pranks of a Scottish spirit, the kids set about finding a way to send the Boggart back to his castle and his land.

Cooper's "Dark Is Rising" series always suffered a little from too many descriptions and distractions. Such is not the case here. In "The Boggart" we get to know an array of different characters exceedingly well. The children are interesting and lively without ever disintegrating into brattiness. The parents are delightfully eccentric while remaining loving and concerned.
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