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Texting the Underworld

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  413 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Perpetual scaredy-cat Conor O'Neill has the fright of his life when a banshee girl named Ashling shows up in his bedroom. Ashling is--as all banshees are--a harbinger of death, but she's new at this banshee business, and first she insists on going to middle school. As Conor attempts to hide her identity from his teachers, he realizes he's going to have to pay a visit to th ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 15th 2013 by Dial Books
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Anna Yeah. I tried it but didn't really like it, even though it is appropriate for that age group. The characters live in Ireland, and it was just weird an…moreYeah. I tried it but didn't really like it, even though it is appropriate for that age group. The characters live in Ireland, and it was just weird and boring, so I stopped.
You might like it, though.(less)

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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  413 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Rebecca McNutt
I honestly didn't find this book as humorous as it made itself out to be by its back cover summary. For one thing, I don't have a cell phone but going by what my younger siblings tell me, the dialogue and texting in this book is nothing like the way modern teenagers communicate. It came across as a little cheesy, and I didn't really understand the purpose for such a story in the first place. It's not lacking in creativity on the bright side, and Booraem does craft some likeable characters in a c ...more
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another clever and witty fantasy from Booraem, again set in New England and dealing with family history. This time, the family is the O'Neill's, living in South Boston. Conor, a seventh grader who loves maps and dislikes conflict, is plunged into adventure when he meets Ashling, a girl his age who happens to be dead. Not only is Ashling dead, she is his family's personal banshee, and she has come to keen a death and take the dear departed to the underworld. If she succeeds in her mission, she'll ...more
Nope. Contrived and ill-concieved and poorly-written to boot.
Nope nope nope.
Also, kdz do not txt lik diz u got it? k h8rs 2 the lft
Izcalli Gamez
Have you ever read a book that starts off with a quote that makes the book sound so deep, but then it all of a sudden goes to when a kid named Conor tries to kill a spider, but fails. I have and that's how the book I'm reading (Texting The Underworld) starts. The genre of this book is fantasy-fiction. To be honest this book wasn't my favorite, it didn't interest me at all.
The book starts off with a boy named Conor, living his normal awkward teenage life. He receives a visit from his family's
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
2.5 stars

It was actually a pretty okay story, but I didn't have as much information about it as I should have had. I hadn't realized it was written for such a young audience. I was prepared for a more young adult novel, not a children's story, so I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have.

That being said, it is a fun story. The characters are great, they want what's best for everyone they love. Loyal to a fault. Conor is a great hero because he doesn't see himself that way. Grump couldn't handle
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
it was pretty good
Ariana Fitz
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Book-Texting the Underworld

Have you ever read a book that starts off with a quote that makes the book sound so deep, but then it all of a sudden goes to when a kid named Conor tries to kill a spider, but fails. I have and that's how the book I'm reading (Texting The Underworld) starts. The genre of this book is fantasy-fiction. To be honest this book wasn't my favorite, it didn't interest me as much as I hoped.

The book starts off with a boy named Conor, living his normal awkward teenage life.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I felt that this book really brought the out the Irish culture which was very interesting to read about. This really a book kids can relate to especially kids that have recently started Middle School. Ellen Booraem has taught me through this book that it's okay to have fears and that once you can overcome anything
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I adored Small Persons with Wings by Ellen Booraem, so when I discovered that Booream had a new book coming out about a Banshee and a trip to the Underworld I was excited as could be. I was even more excited when I won a copy of Texting the Underworld via a giveaway at Charlotte's Library.

Conor is not a kid looking for adventure. He likes his world safe and predictable. And spider free. He is not a coward however, no matter how much he th
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Beyond the supernatural hijinks with a banshee and trips to the underworld - which were all pretty fun - was a story of a boy trying to figure out who he is while trying to live up to the expectations and needs of his father, who is trying to resolve his own childhood disappointments. Not an easy task, especially when dad can't see past his own disappointments and realize that his son may have different plans. While Conor's father loves his son and has the best of intentions, he discards Conor's ...more
Chris Mclean
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Conor O'Neill is afraid of so many things - in the first few pages he is terrified of the spider on the ceiling of his bedroom. His sister, two years younger, is a lot braver. His grandfather (affectionately called Grump) is always hoping Conor will toughen up (as is his father). What happens to scared little Conor changes his world -

....he actually hears and then meets a banshee, who is sent to announce an imminent death in the O'Neill family.

Conor decides that he wants to confront Fate and h
Abigail Levine
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Texting the Underworld by Ellen Booraem is fantasy and not part of a series. Have you ever wondered about visiting another world? Twelve year old Conor O'Neill thought there were no other terrifying monsters in the world besides spiders, until a banshee named Ashiling decided to pay a visit. This leads Conor to finding out that someone in his family was going to die, and he had to be the one to stop it. Now stuck in Conor's bedroom for several days, Ashling still refuses to say a word about who ...more
Brenda Kahn
Wow, this story was so satisfying, I'm reluctant to start another. I just don't want to leave Conor's family, as imperfect as it is, just yet. I laughed deeply and heartily. I sighed wistfully. As usual, Ellen Booraem has constructed a unique, complex story featuring fully realized and flawed characters. While set in contemporary south Boston, she weaves the Irish mythology of death, the Banshee, along with a few other mythologies so hilariously and convincingly that the reader feels a bit guilt ...more
Emily P.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. The beginning isn't so great but it kicks in.
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
One word, "weird".
Stephanie Ellingham
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well written story about growing up and dealing with loss.
Laurel Decher
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
I think this funny adventure story would be excellent for reluctant readers. I laughed out loud because of the wonderful one-liners. Tricky and believable plotting, laugh-out-loud lines, and the warmest Trivial-Pursuit-loving banshee character I never thought I'd read about.

Conor, the rule-following, fantasy mapmaking, spider-phobic hero is endearingly smart and funny. It was a treat to watch him become the hero he never thought he could be.

The father-son-grandfather and the brother-sister rela
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
this book is fictional, and very excited and interesting to read i never wanted to put it down when i started reading it. The book is about a family that is haunted by banshees that demand a death to happen for them to be re born into a new life. this becomes a problem because Conor does not want anyone in his family to die so they go to the underworld and try to work out a way to make it so they don't have to and he has to face the birds. facing the birds means that you have to give the main bi ...more
Brittany Walker (NekosBooks)

I haven't read many middle-grade standalone's so I was excited to start this book. In all honesty, the book was entertaining, but I had a few problems with it that made me drastically lower my rating.

The main one being how the death was going to happen. We had this very tense moment that was completely ignored in favor of everyone on the street gathering around and talking for no real reason. And I wonder if this moment happened because of Ashling being there or if it still would have happened j
Spencer Sacrey
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
The book was very fun to read because it had many interesting theories about afterlife which I have not encountered before. But there was very little room to make your own opinions or have your own thoughts as they were all dictated. It is possible that I (as a 17 year old reader) was just a bit too old for this book. But overall I would recommend this book as a read.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Shari Simpson
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, one of my favorite middle grade novels in a long time. I loved the characters and the writer's voice was so specific and funny and tender. Highly recommend!
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Texting the Underworld is about twelve year old Conor O'Neill who lives in South Boston with his parents, younger sister and next door is his Grandpa or Grump as he is lovingly called. Conor's little Irish neighborhood is home to the frequent sounds of car alarms and the screech of owls, but Grump knows that those sounds are really the “keen” of a banshee come to weep for the person about to die. So when red-blond headed Ashling appears to Conor foretelling that someone in the O'Neill family is ...more
Sophia F
Reading the back of the book strangely captivated me enough to pick it up off the shelf and read it, but I am extremely glad it did!
A story involving Conor, (AKA Pixie) who is easily frightened and deathly afraid of spiders, encounters his family's Banshee Ashling, who is supposed to turn into a wraith and kill one of his family members. He decides to venture into the Underworld to make a deal with the 'Lady', and save one of his family members.
The beginning, although interesting, was rapidly be
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Texting the Underworld starts off with the reader meeting Conor, a boy who is afraid of spiders and definitely not seeking out adventure. When a banshee named Ashling shows up in his room, he knows there will be a death in his family. Ashling is there to stay, curious about middle school and may not enjoy her new job as a banshee, but she knows she must go through with it or go crazy. Conor decides to talk to his grandfather about what is going on and he assumes he will be the one that will be ...more
Summer Rosswog
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-reader
What do you do when you're an average kid from South Boston with a banshee from the Irish underworld hiding out in your game closet? In "Texting the Underworld," Ellen Booraem melds fantasy and realism brilliantly drawing upon Irish and other cultural lore surrounding death and the afterlife. Visiting with Conor and then rest of his family, the O'Neills of 36A and 36B Crumlin Street, is worth the read. However, a daring trip to the underworld is included, and Conor, who is predisposed to being n ...more
Karen Maurer
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, children-s, fantasy
When I found myself tearing up this morning just thinking about this book - something the intended readers will most likely NOT do - I realized it deserved 5 stars.

It's not like Conor doesn't have problems already. He's short - so short that his nickname is Pixie. His father wants him to be a hockey player and go to BU. Conor is not fond of hockey and has no idea where he wants to go to college. His younger sister is a pain. And now a 1600 year-old redheaded female banshee, who died when she wa
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Conor O'Neill has a banshee named Ashling hiding in his game closet. Ashling has come to announce the death of one of the members of the O'Neill family, but doesn't know who. Conor doesn't want anyone in his family to die. Grumps wants to be the one to die instead of anyone else. Little sister Glennie doesn't believe half of what Conor says and is a royal pain. Mom and dad are clueless in so many ways. Mom insists on calling Conor Pixie which doesn't help his image at all and dad is trying to fo ...more
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just randomly picked this book of the shelve, at first, I didn't think I would like it until I opened the book and just couldn't put it down!
Dawn Moews
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a fun book. I believe it would appeal to intermediate and middle graders alike.

I felt that Connor's character was the most fully developed, but that's natural since he was the narrator. We only got to know the other characters (Ashling, Glennie, Grumps, Javier, and Connor's parents) through Connor's lens. Still, I think the overall character development was well-done, and I know that I enjoyed getting to know these people.

I did think the title was clever but a little misleadin
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A former small-town newspaper reporter and editor, Ellen Booraem is the author of three fantasies for ages 10 and up: TEXTING THE UNDERWORLD (Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers, 2013) SMALL PERSONS WITH WINGS (Penguin/Dial, 2011) and THE UNNAMEABLES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Books, 2008).

SMALL PERSONS has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and K

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