Lisa Wolf's Reviews > The Boggart

The Boggart by Susan Cooper
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's review
Jan 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: children-s
Read from January 15 to 21, 2012

When a Canadian family inherits a Scottish castle, they also inherit the Boggart, a mischievous ancient spirit who delights in playing pranks and being a general nuisance. Unfortunately for the Boggart, he accidentally ends up shipped back to Canada along with some of the castle's furnishings, and that's when the trouble starts.

Emily and Jessup, the two main characters, have to figure out just what's causing all the weird occurrences in their normally placid suburban life, and once they do, must come up with a way to send the Boggart back where he belongs before he can do any further damage. The plotline ends up relying heavily on the children's use of technology, and that is the one feature of the book that might be a bit off-putting for kids reading the book today.

"The Boggart" was first published in 1993, and what must have seemed cutting-edge then is now remarkably dated. Jessup is one of the first kids on the block to have a personal computer. We get descriptions of how a floppy disk works and what a screen-saver is, and the kids are quite shocked to see a blue dot on their black-and-white monitor. The story itself is charming, but because of the great emphasis on the kids' clever use of technology, the book comes off as being old-fashioned.

That said, my 9-year-old son was quite enchanted by the story overall and enjoyed it very much, despite having to stop me to ask "why don't they just send an email?", "why don't they have a color monitor?", and "wouldn't a flash drive work better?". I recommend "The Boggart" for middle-age readers, but be prepared to explain the "ancient" technology.


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