Friday, February 2, 2018

Winter Reading 2018 The Boggart Fights Back


Those who have read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will remember the boggart that Professor Lupin used in his Dark Arts class. It was a shapeshifter that took on the form of the worst fear of whoever faced it. So readers may think this boggart will be the same, but it is rather different.

Boggart is able to change shape, but it is more of a prankster than something fearful. And it has a history of association with the MacDevon family. So when Castle Keep, the family seat of the MacDevon clan is threatened by a greedy developer, Boggart and his cousin Nessie take action. While the descendants of MacDevon work on petitions to stop the construction and meetings with the local council, Boggart and Nessie call on other "ancient creatures of the Wild Magic" for help. The results are not always what they expect, but they don't give up the fight.

Susan Cooper's books often include elements of legend and myth from the British Isles. In this story we have beings from Scottish legend such as the boggarts, the Caointeach, the Each Uisge, the Blue Men of Minch, and the Nuckelavee. Raeders will also see what it is like to be part of a community that is being invaded, so to speak, by a corporation intent on changing everything for its own purposes and how that impacts the environment, the local economy, and even things as mundane as the water lines.

Seeing the struggle against corporate powers and the wonder of the boggarts and other legendary creatures from the viewpoint of the children (Jay and Allie), adds to the feeling of powerlessness in the first case and the awesome thrill of the second. And for those who already read the first two appearances of the Boggart, this will be a welcome return of a favorite character. Either way, I highly recommend this for middle grade readers who enjoy a mix of magic into everyday world.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through Net Galley.

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