A sweet story about friendship and Celtic myths from the same author who wrote The Dark Is Rising and The Grey King. After the Volnik family from ToroA sweet story about friendship and Celtic myths from the same author who wrote The Dark Is Rising and The Grey King. After the Volnik family from Toronto, Canada inherits a Scottish castle, they don't realize they've also inherited the family Boggart. When the Volniks decide to sell the castle and ship selected family heirlooms back to Canada, one of those, a desk, also contains the Boggart, into which he unwittingly slipped. Now the Boggart is with a new family, in a new world, and his playful tricks are doing a lot more damage thanks to the clash between Old Magic and modern technology. Now it's up to the two Volnik kids, Jessup and Emily, and their allies, to find a way to get the Boggart home and back where he belongs.
The first thing most astute readers will notice is the outdated technology. Yes, Jessup is thrilled about a computer with a black-and-white monitor, no audio, which runs on floppy disc technology. Now, you can either focus on this and let it taint the entire book or laugh it off as a anachronism that was cutting-edge when the book was published back in 1993. Which is what I did, leaving me with a fast-paced, entertaining read that would be perfect for kids around the 8-12 year range. The child characters are well-drawn and allow the reader to fully sympathize with their troubles with the Boggart and with the adults who don't believe their stories. Which, as an adult, I must admit can get tiresome, but at least there are a few adult characters who are on Emily's and Jessup's side, who know about the Boggart and what it can do, which provides a nice balance. Cooper shows a lot of love for Scotland in her descriptions of the countryside, the lochs, even the slightly dismal weather, which was lovely for me although it made me long to go back there, having visited the country as part of my UK hiking trip way back in '97. Toronto wasn't given quite as loving a touch, mainly because most of the focus was on the antics of the Boggart and the kids.
Overall, a pretty standard adolescent novel, story-wise, that benefits from an author with a deft and skilled hand at writing. The Boggart might not be a modern-day children's classic, but it's certainly worth a read....more
Okay, there's no way I can be objective about this series. I first read these books as an impressionable child (I can't even remember how old I was, bOkay, there's no way I can be objective about this series. I first read these books as an impressionable child (I can't even remember how old I was, but using the publication date as a guide, as well as the ragged state of the paperboard slipcover encasing the books, I'm guessing I was around 10 years old). From the very first moment, I wanted to be Anne, to have that red hair of hers, to stand on the porch of Green Gables and look out over the rolling green fields, to wiggle my toes into the wind-swept dunes of Prince Edward Island. Over the years, I never relinquished my childish fantasy; in fact, I only reinforced it through repeated readings of the novels. And I still imagine that one day, I will travel to P.E.I. I will visit Green Gables and stand on that porch; I will see those dunes and feel the salty sea air in my now-red hair (thank you Clairol).
It's true that not all the books in the series are equal in quality. The first three, I'd say, are the strongest, when Anne is still discovering her world and her place in it. Subsequent books became more prone to flights of fancy and romance, yet, despite that, Anne never lost her power to enthrall and inspire, and although her temper certainly mellowed, she never lost her fire. Frankly, I can't imagine a better role model for a young girl. Anne stood by me on those days when I felt sick, depressed, just downright awful about myself and the world. My first stirrings of romance and how love should be formed around Anne and Gilbert's "courting," even down to their very first moments when she cracked her slate over his head because he called her "Carrots." (After reading that scene, I realized the boy knocking me down in the playground wasn't actually being mean to me, but was expressing that he liked me. Silly boys.) Most importantly, I learned from Anne the importance of being oneself, even if doing so makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Who couldn't love this book? A vampire bunny wabbit, a talking dog and cat, vegetables drained of their juices and turned white? Come on! This is an aWho couldn't love this book? A vampire bunny wabbit, a talking dog and cat, vegetables drained of their juices and turned white? Come on! This is an absolutely adorable book and the start of an equally adorable series. A childhood favorite that's lasted into adulthood, it's a book well-suited for a child...or one who is still a child at heart (like me!)....more
Simple, beautiful, lyrical. One of the best remembered books from my childhood and one I still find enjoyment in today. Not only is M.M. Kaye a giftedSimple, beautiful, lyrical. One of the best remembered books from my childhood and one I still find enjoyment in today. Not only is M.M. Kaye a gifted writer, but, annoyingly, she's also a gifted artist as well, as the gorgeous drawings of this book attest. I can honestly say this book, more than any other, inspired me to write. Although I will never be able to attain her simplicity of prose, her example encourages me to continue to try....more