The Boggart and the Monster.
Grades 3 - 7 / Ages 8 - 12.
In this fantasy adventure story, a sequel to The Boggart, Emily and Jessup Volnik travel from Canada to Scotland to visit Mr. Maconachie, the new owner of the castle which their father had inherited from his great-uncle. The castle is haunted by the Boggart, a shape-changing spirit who delights in playing tricks. At first, Mr. Mac did not believe in the Boggart.
More and more in the months since he had moved into Castle Keep, he had been seeing things happen that were impossible. Small, insignificant, meaningless things; things so small that it was possible each time for him to wonder if he hadn't imagined what he saw . . . When with no reason at all he saw a spoon rise vertically into the air . . . he knew at once that one of two fates had befallen him: either something terrible was happening to his eyesight, or he was going mad.
(Then he found a letter addressed "To the New Owner of Castle Keep" from Devon MacDevon, the previous owner of the castle)."So you've found him," (it began). "Don't be feared of him. He means no harm, but his tricks will drive you wild if you let them . . . He's older than you or me or the castle or the clan, and he'll be here when we're all gone. He's a thieving rascal, but he eats seldom and little. He likes porridge and cream and new wholemeal bread, apples and cheese, ice cream, ketchup, pickled onions, and fish...above all...he is kin to the seals, as are we MacDevons. And like us too, he enjoys his dram . . . of whisky . . . He's a good soul . . . Have him stay if you can. He's the Boggart of Castle Keep, and I'm fond of him. (pp. 7, 8)
Emily, Jessup, Mr. Mac, and Tommy, who lives near the castle, go on a camping trip to Loch Ness where yet another scientific expedition is searching for the Loch Ness monster. When they arrive at Loch Ness, the Boggart (who had secretly followed them) discovers his long-lost cousin Nessie, who has spent the past 300 years sleeping at the bottom of Loch Ness in the form of a monster and has lost his shape-changing ability.
The Boggart tries to convince Nessie that he can leave the depths of Loch Ness and become a proper Boggart again. Nessie finally agrees, but it requires the assistance of Mr. Mac, the children, and a descendant of the family Nessie had lived with before he lost his boggart powers to enable Nessie to do so. The adventures they have in getting Nessie safely out of Loch Ness and into Loch Linnhe near Castle Keep are, by turns, exciting and funny.
This book is highly recommended for readers who enjoy fantasy adventure stories with a dash of humour.
Irene Gordon, a teacher-librarian who has spent the past 13 years working in a junior high school in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is presently co-editor of the MSLA Journal published by the Manitoba School Library Association.
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Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - JUNE 20, 1997.
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