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The Boggart

(The Boggart #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  4,598 ratings  ·  246 reviews
"Centuries old and housands of miles from home". When Emily and Jess Volnik's family inherits a remote, crumbling Scottish castle, they also inherit the Boggart - an invisible, mischievous spirit who's been playing tricks on residents of Castle Keep for generations. Then the Boggart is trapped in a rolltop desk and inadvertently shipped to the Volniks' home in Toronto, whe ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published 1993)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,598 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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the story was ok. I know I was not the target age range for this book and sometimes that's ok but I think younger kids will like this more than I did. ...more
Keith (CHINNY) Chinn
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 desk... right before the desk is shipped back to Canada.
A few references to The Loch Ness Monster, maybe not as good as the
I liked her Dark is Rising series, but I just can't get into this one.

I wanted something light to read in between stories of a difficult classic but this just isn't working at the moment. I've been pecking away at it for about a week now and I'm barely to page 30. Normally for a book for this age level, I'd be to page 30 in under half an hour. It's just not holding my attention for more than a page or two at a time.
Warren Rochelle
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big Susan Cooper fan, especially of The Dark is Rising series. I read this book because I am interested in boggart lore and there is a fair amount here in this story of a Canadian family who travel to Scotland when the dad inherits a castle there. When they decide to sell the castle and go home to Toronto, they pack up some of the furniture. Inside a desk, the boggart was sleeping. Late 20th century Canada is a big surprise to the Boggart, practical jokester extraordinaire.

There is a fair
My overwhelming impression reading this book was one of pleasant surprise. Though I've always enjoyed Susan Cooper's output in the past, considering how little is spoken about this one, I hadn't been expecting it to be as good as it is. The plot unfolds at a nice pace, and details from the beginning resurface at the end in an agreeably rounded denouement. I've given three stars because I believe I gave four to Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence, and The Boggart doesn't quite achieve their leve ...more
Nostalgia re-read 2018! I carried a couple of clear memories about this story: the Halloween costumes, and the ending with the computer game central to the plot. What my sheltered baby self skimmed right over was the gay couple in the dad's theatre troupe. :D I also didn't catch the undercurrent of tension with Barry, the high-school dropout.

In 2018, the tech bits are hilariously dated; 2018 me also found the way the computer programming was handled to be written by someone who doesn't... know h
What a delightful, humorous, saucy melding of ancient mythologies and modern technology! The boggart is an ancient Scottish spirit that lives for mischief. However, sometimes the mischief goes awry and gets even the Boggart into trouble. The Boggart ends up in Toronto and while he has loads of fun...discovers peanut butter and pizza!...he also finds that he is very confused by modern life and ends up missing his home in Scotland. But how can an ancient creature of wild magic get across the Atlan ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
An okay read for a sleepless night. Published in 1993 but it feels late seventies, with the media fascination for poltergeists, ESP, and the "adolescent girl rage causes telekinesis" trope (remember "Carrie"?) However, beyond a mention of the fact that the Boggart is a part of "Wild Magic", Cooper manages to keep it all very light. Nobody's special, nobody's Chosen--it's a comic little story of Canadians dealing with an ancient Scottish spirit they have inherited along with the castle and the fu ...more
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
While finishing out my The Dark Is Rising re-read, I figured I'd pick this one up on the way down. Unfortunately, I didn't really like The Boggart very much. If the whole book had been like the first part in the Scottish village, I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

As soon as we left Scotland to go to Canada, though, everything just felt incredibly disjointed. I liked the Boggart, and the humans seemed okay, but I couldn't really muster up any interest for them? Serious things were happening (the
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Boggart by Susan Cooper -- When the old MacDevon dies, Castle Keep on a Scottish island is inherited by the Volnick family. They visit their legacy before putting it on the market, and inadvertently ship the castle's mischievous boggart back to Toronto. What will a creature of Old Magic make of modern technology?

As you might expect, the computer parts of the story are solidly 1993, and some of the specs mentioned will give savvy modern readers a good laugh. Moving beyond that, it's obvious t
Mar 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
I usually like kid-friendly stories involving computer technology, but, this one did not do much for me; it was just dumb and unexciting. Fans of youth fiction can do much better than this.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scribd, 2017
I'm not sure how I missed this Susan Cooper book. I'm a big fan of her other works. I found this on Scribd last night and decided to read it.

I love authors that can make non-human creatures actually NON-human. The Boggart of the title is a creature of old Wild Magic. He's not motivated by many human things, and doesn't feel most human emotions. He has developed a taste for things like peanut butter and applesauce over the centuries, and once or twice, he's felt grief. In this book, he gets homes
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A slightly dated pre-teen book about a trickster spirit from Scotland that ends up shipped to Canada. The kids are the main characters and the adults busy or clueless. I liked the environment and the problem solving our heroes go through, and found the book fun, if short.

Nine year old Jessup has more hobbies (hockey and computers) and is better fleshed out than older sister Emily. While in Toronto, there are a few too many instances of the adults not believing the kids, despite the evidence. Oth
A fun and exciting story about the relationship between two children and a mysterious, mythical and magical creature! Definitely a book to share with a class - the mischievousness of the Boggart will have them attached to the story throughout, determined to find out what the Boggart will get up to next.
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought that this book was kind of funny. I did feel bad for the Boggart at times though. A family gets custody of a castle that was there dead relative's, They end up bringing a Boggart with them as well. He causes a lot of mischief. I recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy ...more
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fabulously written. Susan had me crying along with the boggart in the first chapter...that was 13 pages. The visuals she painted of the boggart's memories and emotions were so very strong that my heart was touched immediately.

So why did I only give it 4 stars? Sadly, for something that some authors do not anticipate...what was commonplace in 1993 (or late 1980s since I know it took time to get this story published) is so far out of date now that the target age readers may have no idea
Lolly's Library
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 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 ...more
Nov 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 7 to 12 year olds
Shelves: juvenilia
Cooper, Susan. The Boggart, Aladdin Paperbacks, 196 pages. Fictional chapter book, fantasy.

Description: A Scottish spirit called the Boggart is unwittingly taken to Canada when a Canadian family inherits his castle. Emily and Jessup, the kids, struggle to communicate with the Boggart and get him to stop playing his disruptive tricks.

Review: This book is at its best at the beginning and end of the story, when the Boggart resides on his Scottish Island. The prose is incredibly descriptive during
Stephanie Jobe
I read this years ago but honestly I couldn’t remember what I thought of it. It was probably quite similar to my feeling right now. Meh. I don’t dislike it but it falls sort of flat in comparison to The Dark is Rising Sequence. It is heavily dated by the technology used. I mean I read the description of the computer the nerds drool over to my boyfriend and we both laughed out loud. Black and white monitors and floppy disks are something more alien than time travel to today’s kids. A modern kid w ...more
I'm not sure who that ghoul on the left side of the cover is supposed to be - maybe a young Tommy Wiseau. But the fascinating cover is not the only reason I picked up The Boggart. It's because: Susan Cooper, scotland, boggart.

It's a lighthearted story with an emotional core (really!). The boggart in this story is not the same as the scary bloodsucking things in the Spook's Apprentice series. It is invisible, immortal, and eats ice cream with its tiny "hands". And when its master dies and a dista
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm a huge fan of The Dark Is Rising series and no stranger to reading YA novels as an adult. This novel, however, was not the greatest and I wouldn't enthuse about it, reread it, or recommend it to my friends the way I have TDIR over the years. In the opening chapter Cooper shines, her prose sure and amazingly strong (if a little sweeping), but the rest of the story absolutely flounders. Cooper's inexperience with computers is massively distracting and, in the end, creates a huge hole in the pl ...more
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Similar to Spiderwick, this rare creature is rewarding to read about, while the social arcs of contemporary characters are tacked on in grasp at an unnecessary formula.

From a technical perspective, Susan Cooper is obviously a good writer with few unnecessary words. However, certain ideas have an inharmonious feel from the main tone about Scotland and the Boggart with a lingering feeling of ulterior motive.

Some family dynamics, the thread about a teen drug dealer with a heart of gold, the gang of
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers who enjoy fantasy
Susan Cooper is one of my favorite authors. Her words are so "visual", she paints a picture in your mind as you read. Her narrative is so descriptive you can "hear" the haunting sound of the gulls as they sail above the sea shore. I could actually believe I was driving over the moors of Scotland, visiting a castle for the first time. Her writing is a treat for the senses, to be savored and enjoyed.

The story itself is completely delightful, with the Boggart being an exceptional character. I would
Susan needs more books, not really
Fun tale. I think I enjoyed the beginning better when it took place in Scotland on an island in an old dilapidated castle rather than Canada, when the family returns home. The trapping and releasing of the boggart toward the end of the book was a bit of a stretch but then again it is a fantasy children's story. A pleasant read. ...more
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a really delightful children's book. There were parts that were terribly sad but it only added to the story. A definite great book to read aloud to your kids. The boggart is both equally frustrating and endearing. Just when you think how neat it would be to have one, it does something completely insane that makes you glad you dont. ...more
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Good story, but aimed perhaps a slightly-younger-than young adult audience.
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wish there were boggarts around here, but I haven't found any yet unfortunately. There are mostly just weasels and frogs. Maybe if we still lived in Ireland we could have found one. ...more
Shannon Olson
If you are into supernatural, creepy characters, this is a great book to read.
Susan Beecher
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Enjoyable upper elementary school-age book about a boggart who gets transported in a desk from his home in Scotland to Toronto and the teen age brother and sister who discover him.
This was a fun story by the same author who wrote the Dark is Rising series. The story starts by introducing the title character: the Boggart of Castle Keep. Then, the point of view changes to that of Emily and Jessup Volnik, whose father has just inherited the castle (on the death of his great uncle).

The Boggart starts by playing pranks on the Volnik family in the castle, but they don't rise to his bait (partly because they know nothing of boggarts). It's not until they return home, intent on s
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Susan Cooper's latest book is the YA novel "Ghost Hawk" (2013)

Susan Cooper was born in 1935, and grew up in England's Buckinghamshire, an area that was green countryside then but has since become part of Greater London. As a child, she loved to read, as did her younger brother, who also became a writer. After attending Oxford, where she became the first woman to ever edit that university's newspap

Other books in the series

The Boggart (3 books)
  • The Boggart and the Monster
  • The Boggart Fights Back

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