cover image The Boggart and the Monster

The Boggart and the Monster

Susan Cooper. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $17.99 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-689-81330-6

The invisible sprite featured in The Boggart has all but forgotten his Canadian friends, Emily Volnik and her younger brother Jessup, until the two children revisit their Scottish ancestral estate, Castle Keep, and its present occupant, ""Mr. Mac."" When Mr. Mac takes them on a camping trip, Boggart, accidentally packed in their gear, finds himself on the shore of Loch Ness, where his cousin, the infamous Loch Ness Monster, broods at the bottom of murky waters, unable to return to his proper boggart shape. While the campers and other spectators (including a news reporter and a scientist) try to track the beast, Boggart is busy trying to raise Nessie's spirits and convince him to leave the loch for his own safety. Wrought with a slightly more somber tone than its predecessor, this sequel brings such human characteristics as compassion, empathy, determination and even speech to trickster Boggart. His and his cousin's conflicts take center stage once the children and Mr. Mac discover the monster's true identity, and readers will have fun with the book's outlandish and suspenseful plot. Again, Cooper adroitly incorporates ancient lore into a contemporary setting while producing an imaginative and compelling tale. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)