Originally appearing in The Boggart (1993), Cooper’s mischievous sprite returns to defend his ancestral home against an invading real estate developer poised to deface pristine Scottish countryside.
Twins Jay and Allie, white, Scottish-Canadian preteens, arrive for a holiday with their grandfather Angus, who operates a store on Loch Linnhe overlooking Castle Keep. They quickly become involved in a campaign to prevent obnoxious American William Trout from adding Angus’ store to the acres of adjacent shore property he owns and where he intends to build a luxury hotel and condos, turning Castle Keep into a tacky tourist attraction. Convinced Trout’s venture will “be a major environmental disaster,” Angus refuses to sell. Meanwhile, deep in the loch, the Boggart, “a creature bound by no rules but those of the Wild Magic,” awakens. When Trout’s lumber and bulldozer mysteriously fall into the loch, the twins learn the playful Boggart and his cousin Nessie are to blame. Discovering their family’s affectionate connection to the Boggart, the twins gleefully watch him rouse “Old Things” to thwart Trout. Cooper deftly weaves ancient Scottish lore into an imaginative contemporary tale with an ecological twist, while the Boggart remains as comical, fey, unpredictable, and thoroughly entertaining as ever. The cast appears to be a largely white one.
The Boggart is back to delight a new generation. (author’s note, afterword) (Fantasy. 8-12)