________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 18 . . . .May 12, 2006


The Devil, the Banshee and Me.

Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2006.
192 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.95 (pbk.), $19.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55337-895-4 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55337-894-6 (cl.).

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Jane Bridle.

***Ĺ /4



"Do you know who he is?"

My mother looked at me. "Of course. He's Noah. You remember, dear? He arrived last night."

"I know he arrived last night. But do you know who he is?"

"He's a magician," said Mrs. D. "Come all the way from Magic Castle in California, he 'as."

My mother moved over to Noah. "Now, do me." She straightened her shoulders.

Noah smiled and ran his hands up and down Mom's back. A second later she was walking up the wall. I swear I'm not making it up.

I slowly sat down on a chair. It wasn't a dream after all. The Devil's nephew was living with us-and he was showing off.


When Will Trenom, age 13, sets off to borrow eggs from a neighbour who lives in a cottage smack in the middle of a cemetery in Port Elgin, ON, he is met at the door by a sumo wrestler. He soon discovers that the wrestler is an apparition conjured up for his benefit by Noah Proffet, the new guest at Will's bed and breakfast. Noah, it turns out, is the devil's nephew who takes great delight in bewitching Will with paranormal stunts such as astral projecting him into the middle of the running of the bulls in Spain or sitting ringside at a boxing match.

     One night, when Will hears screams and cries coming from the cemetery, he learns that it is a Banshee, a supernatural death messenger who appears when someone in the house is about to die. That someone is Megan MacGregor, who lives in the cottage next door and whose mother has made a bad bargain with the Banshee. On Meganís 13th birthday, unless Will can undo the spell, the banshee will come to claim Megan. In the efforts to save Megan from the Banshee, Will uses his wits and new found sources of courage and ingenuity to solve the mystery.

     L.M.Falcone has worked as a teacher, a private investigator and a screenwriter. She engages the same winning formula used in her recent novel, Walking with the Dead, reviewed previously in CM, to entrance her readers. Falcone brings folklore to life in a contemporary context while exploring the Irish mythology surrounding Banshees. With a blend of chills, humour and suspense, short chapters and clever word play, this fast paced thriller will keep readers turning pages until the end.

Highly Recommended.

Jane Bridle is a librarian at the Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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