The Old Things. When Susan Cooper starts writing about the Old Things, the world gets a whole lot wiser and filled with truth.
So,...what kind of world do you choose to live in? What is important to you? What makes life worth living? Do you enjoy a peaceful walk down a path to the sea? Should your ocean have seals in it or would you rather have the speed and roar of jet skis racing over the whitecaps?
How about your leaders? Do you want to follow someone filled with promises and hyperbole who has an eye to a bigger and better yacht for him/her/themselves or would you rather trust someone who has thought it through and found a solution or a new idea that will lead to a "better" place for many with as little taken away from others as is humanly possible?
The Castle Keep has stood guard along the coast of Scotland for generations. It's turrets look out over the Loch with its seals and its heritage of men and women who speak the Gaelic and hold the strength of their traditions dear. Granda and his store, his two grandchildren Allie and Jay and a Boggart who has a good friend named Nessie, are about to witness an attack on the Castle they have honored during their lifetimes.
An American developer, William Trout, filled with hyperbole and a lust for making money, has decided to build a resort for the rich on the spot where the Castle Keep has guarded for centuries. William Trout spouts the benefits for the local area. Hundreds of jobs and plenty of money to boost the economy are his selling points. This is not a man who cares about the seals, about the history and legacy of the families who have lived on this Loch for so many years. He disregards the protests and the concerns of the local people who prefer a life steeped in integrity, courage, fairness and a deep regard for the sacrifices and determination of their ancestors.
How can they stop this man from building his latest project? How can they hold fast to the Castle, to the clean air and clean water, to the wonder of the natural world that surrounds them? Turns out it just might take the Old Things who turn up to fight for their centuries of living, for their values, for their knowledge that money and greed are not the building blocks of excellence or even true success in a life.
The hilarious rebellion of the Boggart and Nessie remind us that there is a power greater than our own and it comes from a very good place. This is a story that calls us back to what we know to be our best version of ourselves and happily gives us construction equipment that won't stay still, flags that fly, bacon and an utterly horrifying monster. Satire at its best.
Susan Cooper IS the Boggart. She's invisible to us as we read the story but she's there and she's dancing and dodging and poking at us so we will ask questions of ourselves and of others. Thank you, Susan. As the Dark Is Rising, we need you now more than ever before.
224 pages 978-1534406292 Ages 8-12
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
The Boggart is back for a new adventure of magic and mayhem from Newbery winner Susan Cooper.
Magic is in the air when Allie and Jay Cameron visit their ancestors’ ancient Castle Keep in Scotland, tucked in its unspoiled loch. The twins wake the mischievous shape-shifting Boggart and his infamous cousin Nessie, of Loch Ness fame. But a summer of fun-loving trickery with the Old Things is invaded by a dangerous real estate developer called William Trout.
Trout has big plans for a luxury resort on the loch, and little care for its people or the law. Bulldozers get to work. The future of the loch, its seals, and all its beauty are threatened. The twins and Angus Cameron, their grandfather, mobilize to save his shop and the loch, but it’s soon clear they will need help of a different sort…
In a race against time, the Boggarts recruit help from other Old Things of Scotland: hair-raising creatures of the Wild Magic. But are the Blue Men of the Minch and the Nuckelavee too terrifying for humans to handle? How can they drive out the invader? What’s certain is that Mr. Trout is in for a wild ride in this comical, page-turning adventure from Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper.--from the publisher
224 pages 978-1534406292 Ages 8-12