Castle Keep on Loch Linnhe is a charming, quiet, peaceful corner of Scotland. Although no one currently lives in the castle, Angus Cameron keeps an eye on it. A local shopkeeper, Angus is perhaps best known as the journalist who took the one good photo of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, that has been used for decades. He's also the grandfather of twins Jay and Allie, who are visiting for 2 weeks while their father goes to Edinburgh for business.
But the twins' enjoyment of their week is cut short by loud American William Trout. With plans to create a large resort near the castle, Trout uses his millions to buy up land around the lake and almost immediately starts demolishing. But he doesn't own all the land yet--Angus is holding out, with no intention of selling. And Trout doesn't yet own the castle. He's renting it, but only one of the brothers who own it want to sell it. Angus is working with the other brother, encouraging him to hold out.
And fortunately, Angus has help. The twins are all in, as is his assistant in the shop, Portia. And the twins' father, Tom, cuts his trip to Edinburgh short to help. Their mother, stuck at work in Ottawa, Canada, pitches in. Even though she's far away, she's a lawyer, so she knows how to get things done. And even better, the boggart and his cousin Nessie join in to help the cause.
The boggart is one of the Old Things, the creatures that have been a part of Scotland throughout the centuries, and they are willing to help their clan fight against enemies. And Boggart and Nessie can tell right away that Trout is an enemy. So they decide to bring all their shape-shifting tricks, all their mischievousness to the party. And if for some reason that's not enough firepower to get rid of Trout, then they have more Old Things they can turn to for help.
The Boggart Fights Back is Susan Cooper's third Boggart book, and it's so perfectly delightful. Her mix of humor and magic, of family and personality, of future and past takes this adorable middle grade fiction book to a new level of excellence. Cooper's mastery of story blends beautifully with her expertise in legends and myths, and her hard work definitely pays off in this remarkable children's book.
I am a big fan of good, charming middle grade books. There is just some part of my soul that never grew up from those elementary school years. And that part of me adored this book and wanted to curl up and read it over and over. But I'm also an adult who reads a lot of books in my spare time. And that part of me adored this book and laughed out loud at the characters and caricatures in this tiny book. It packs a wallop for readers of all ages, and I recommend this one for anyone who needs some adorable escapism from a noisy, stressful world.
Galleys for The Boggart Strikes Back were provided by Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing through NetGalley, with many thanks.