Monday, November 11, 2013

Texting the Underworld??

Texting the Underworld by Ellen Booraem.  

When I found myself tearing up this morning just thinking about this book - something the intended readers will most likely NOT do - I realized it deserved 5 stars. (Grades 5 through 8)

  It's not like Conor doesn't have problems already.  He's short - so short that his nickname is Pixie.  He's scared of - oh, just about everything, but especially spiders. His father wants him to be a hockey player and go to BU; Conor, not so much .  His younger sister is a pain.  And now a 1600 year-old redheaded female banshee, who died when she was around 12, has moved into his game closet.

Conor knows a lot about banshees, thanks to his Grump who lives next door.  Grump is an expert on Irish mythology and obsessed with banshees.  So Conor knows that each family has a banshee and this girl is in his room waiting for someone in his family to die.

This is a complex book with details that make the characters fully realized.  The cause of Grump's obsession with banshees made me tear up this morning.  And that cause explains Conor's painful choice at the end of the book.  Problems with friends, the banshee's irrepressible personality, the mixture of world mythologies with present day technology - so many things add up to make this an enjoyable read.

Older readers may be touched by the impossible things Conor is forced to do - younger readers, too, perhaps.  But we can all be grateful that he has a cell phone and knows when to use it!!!

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