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Green Boy [Hardcover]

Susan Cooper
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 1 Sep 2003 --  
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Book Description

1 Sep 2003
Trey and his troubled but sensitive brother Lou live in the Bahamas and have grown up in the home of their grandparents, exploring around Long Pond Cay. Their way of life is threatened when ruthless developers see the financial possibilities of the area. Then they accidentally enter a parallel world called Panagaia, a horrifying vision of the future where greed, overpopulation and technology have shut out the stars and choked everything green. Carried between the two worlds in a zigzag adventure of mounting tension and danger, the children risk their lives not only to save the alien world but also to ward off the threat to Long Pond Cay.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Perfection Learning (1 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756912482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756912482
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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About the Author

Susan Cooper was born in Buckinghamshire, read English at Oxford and began her career as a reporter and feature writer for the Sunday Times. Her sequence of fantasy novels, THE DARK IS RISING, won her numerous awards, including the Newbery Medal. She has also written a Broadway play and several film scripts for TV and cinema. Susan lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Meaning Eco Fable 10 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have been a fan of the Dark is Rising sequence for many years. These books have stood the test of time with their engrossing stories, well thought out plots, depth of historical knowledge and complex characters.
The plot in this new non-sequential book has good intentions but it lacks depth compared with the Dark is Rising series. The visual pictures that Susan Cooper paints of the Bahamas and of grass roots activism to save a pristine cay from development are as always excellent. However, the parallel overpopulated and polluted Otherworld on the brink of ecological disaster seems even more lifeless and drab than intended. The characterisations of Lou, Trey and their grandparents and their life in the Bahamas are genuine and engaging, the Otherworld characters are sadly two-dimensional and barely memorable. The mystical element that pervades her other books is still present but sits uncomfortably with the eco-theme. A little disconcerting is that the Chief Seattle speech is "quoted" not only in the text but also on the cover, when the attribution of this famous eco-speech has been hotly debated.
An interesting eco-fable and indeed an important message but possibly, this book won’t stand the test of time like its forebears.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Original Eco-tale, Not This Author's Best 22 July 2011
Format:Hardcover
Twelve year old Trey has a younger brother Lou. Lou does not speak and has epilpesy. They live in the idyllic Bahamas on a small island, which is under threat of a large development. A parallel world called Pangaia has been destroyed ny overdevelopment and pollution. Lou has been chosen by the people of the underworld to restore it back to a its former glory.

This is a good eco-tale, but for those of us brought up on the double Newberry award winning "Dark is Rising" sequence, this book will be a disappointment. There is still a small celtic element in the folk of Pangaia, and a strong mystical thread to the story. Nevertheless the world creation did not really seem to work form me. I loved the writing about the Bahamas, but I can barely bring Pangaia to mind at all. In any case it felt a little over-contrived. A cautionary tale that was simply not subtle enough

The ending of the story was pleasant, and I did enjoy this book. Nevertheless if I wanted to sell Susan Cooper as a writer to someone I would give them "The Dark is Rising" or her newer "Victory" or "The Boggart" in preference to this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cooper's Environmentalism Disappoints 2 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am a die-hard fan of Susan Cooper. I have read all of her books multiple times and never get tired of her incredible talent of weaving flawlessly together the elements of myth, fantasy, magic, and the timeless fight between good and evil. I was very excited to read "Green Boy"...and was very disappointed. Terribly disappointed! The story is basically a heavy-handed environmentalist tract, flimsily placed in a fantasy plot. I can't imagine what she was thinking. It is difficult to connect to any of the characters, and Cooper's usually flowing and descriptive prose is jarring and disconnected. The plot is contrived and clichéd, and I finished the book with a relieved sigh because I got through it, not because I had a desire to read it again. Though I will never pick up this book again, it hasn't tarnished my opinion of her other works, which are definitely worth reading over and over again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original Eco-tale, Not This Author's Best 29 Jun 2012
By Sir Furboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Twelve year old Trey has a younger brother Lou. Lou does not speak and has epilpesy. They live in the idyllic Bahamas on a small island, which is under threat of a large development. A parallel world called Pangaia has been destroyed ny overdevelopment and pollution. Lou has been chosen by the people of the underworld to restore it back to a its former glory.

This is a good eco-tale, but for those of us brought up on the double Newberry award winning "Dark is Rising" sequence, this book will be a disappointment. There is still a small celtic element in the folk of Pangaia, and a strong mystical thread to the story. Nevertheless the world creation did not really seem to work form me. I loved the writing about the Bahamas, but I can barely bring Pangaia to mind at all. In any case it felt a little over-contrived. A cautionary tale that was simply not subtle enough

The ending of the story was pleasant, and I did enjoy this book. Nevertheless if I wanted to sell Susan Cooper as a writer to someone I would give them "The Dark is Rising" or her newer "Victory" or "The Boggart" in preference to this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As always, excellently done 30 July 2006
By Kristen Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Susan Cooper's work, and Green Boy did not disappoint. The style differs slightly from her other books I have read, but well it should, as it is set in the Bahamas. The plot is compelling and the descriptions of the Otherworld left me haunted by the environmental possibilities of our own world. Clearly she has a message here. However, the story works on its own and is a good read.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy blends with more than a touch of realistic settings 13 July 2002
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Trey and his silent younger brother love to visit their special Bahamas cay, but when they discover that their visits are bringing them to a frightening future world, linked to their own, their become involved in fighting off an environmental threat to their own beloved home. Fantasy blends with more than a touch of realistic settings in this fast paced fantasy.
3.0 out of 5 stars "In Our World He is Magical, He is Predestined..." 27 Oct 2012
By R. M. Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Twelve year old Trey and his brother, seven year old Lou live in the Bahamas, on the beautiful white-sand beach of Long Cay Island. Told in first-person narrative by Trey, "Green Boy" involves him almost reverently describing the antics and personality of his little brother: a mute boy who communicates in hoots and grunts, and seems almost magically attuned to nature.

Living with their grandparents (their mother works on the mainland to earn more money) Trey is immensely self-sufficient and able to handle his boat in the waters around the island, taking his brother to all their secret places. But an upheaval is about to enter their lives: two in fact. Developers are coming to the island, intent on building a hotel on the island and endangering the ecosystem. The community rallies to protect their home, only to find that the foreign investors are prepared to fight dirty.

Yet the second occurrence is far more strange and dangerous - whilst out in their boat, the brothers are catapulted into another world: a city that appears to exist in the future. Grabbed by a group of underground rebels, Lou is heralded as their long-awaited mystical hero Lugh. Utterly self-assured, Lou seems to know exactly what to do, even as they evade the police and explore underground catacombs, searching for answers in both worlds.

"Green Boy" is a strange book: bizarre even. I've read (and loved) The Dark is Rising series several times, but readers searching for something similar will find little resemblance to her most famous work. Cooper excels in describing the dual worlds: the tropical beauty of the Bahamas and the cold sterility of Pangaia, and the characterization is strong as well, particularly Trey's thought process and speech patterns. He is mainly an observer to the action - it is the otherworldly Lou that is the real protagonist; Trey just recounts their adventures.

And they are strange adventures, ending in two deus ex machinas: a hurricane in the real world and the titular green boy in Pangaia. Furthermore, it's unclear how the two worlds are connected or what power is transporting them to and fro. Problems are solved in rather obscure ways - collecting fossils from the past to insert into cave walls, for example. Other things such as giant millipedes and telepathically-talking trees aren't given much explanation: they're just *there*.

"Green Boy" is perhaps best described as an environmental fairytale that contains a rather eclectic blend of different elements. Though it's readable enough, often the different aspects of the story don't quite seem to fit together: the threat of development and the return of Trey's deadbeat father would have worked just fine as a plot without all the futuristic stuff, and at times it almost feels like you're reading two completely unrelated stories.

Though the prose is beautifully rendered, I don't think I'll be reading "Green Boy" again in a hurry. The environmental tract isn't as obnoxious as it usually is (saving the planet is a worthy endeavor, but more often than not it doesn't make for very good fiction) but it's simply not as good as Cooper's usual fare. But don't let this put you off reading The Dark is Rising sequence, as that's brilliant.
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