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Review of The Boggart Fights Back

The Boggart Fights Back
by Susan Cooper
Intermediate    McElderry    209 pp.    g
2/18    978-1-5344-0629-2    $16.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0631-5    $10.99

It’s been over twenty years since the publication of The Boggart (rev. 5/93) and The Boggart and the Monster (rev. 5/97), but this new adventure stands on its own and will surely send readers looking for the earlier books. Twins Allie and Jay are visiting their grandfather, Angus Cameron, in the Scottish Highlands while their father, Tom, has business meetings in Edinburgh (fans will recognize the twins’ parents, Emily and Tom, as protagonists of the first two books). When Jay sings an old Scottish ballad, it awakens the boggart and his cousin, Nessie—and not a moment too soon. William Trout, an American real-estate developer, has arrived on the scene, buying up property and renting Castle Keep with the intention of developing a resort hotel in the area. Of course, Angus refuses to sell his store on the shores of Loch Linnhe, and his family provides the main opposition to Trout’s unwelcome intrusion, but they need some help from the boggart, Nessie, and other creatures from Scottish folklore to thwart his plans. The juxtaposition of modern science and old magic, the mischievous humor of the boggart, the vivid Highlands setting, and the warm family relationships are big draws for readers, and the anti-development theme (also seen recently in The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island, rev. 3/16; Me and Marvin Gardens, rev. 1/17; and The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, rev. 7/17) is timely and relevant.

From the March/April 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

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