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Green Boy by Susan Cooper

Green Boy

by Susan Cooper

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1712107,072 (3.21)4
Twelve-year-old Trey and his seven-year-old brother Lou, who does not speak, cross the barrier between two worlds, that of their island in the Bahamas, and a land called Pangaia, and play a mysterious role in restoring the natural environment in both places.



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Susan Cooper's book is a great way to introduce young readers to both multiculturalism and environmental protection in literature. The book is about two young boys named Trey and Lou living in the Bahamas with their grandparents, but Lou is mute and suffers seizures. During an outing, they stumble into a parallel world where pollution and construction have all but destroyed nature, and Lou is said to be the prophesied hero of their world. An overall easy read, but the book felt like an environmental rant wrapped around a flimsy plot line. After having read Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, I was expecting more in terms of being drawn into this otherworld she creates. That's not the case with Green Boy. I feel like this could be an effective eco-tale for struggling students in a dystopian literature unit, but I definitely wouldn't make this my primary text. ( )
  vroussel | Mar 11, 2015 |
Murphy, Kathleen: Between two worlds: Twelve year old Trey and his younger brother Lou, who does not speak and suffers from seizures, are transported between their world on a small island in the Bahamas and the underground world of Pangaia. In the world of Pangaia, overdevelopment and pollution have destroyed the green earth. Lou has been chosen by the people of the underworld to revert the underworld back to a plush green environment. In Trey and Lou’s real world, development is threatening Long Pond Cay, where the boys spend a tremendous amount of time and where they enjoy the fishing and the quietness. Living with their grandparents the boy have been exposed to the ideology of respecting and treasuring what earth has to offer, but respect for the earth is not so in the underworld and development is now changing Long Pond Cay. Cooper, a Newberry Medal award-winning author, uses Trey and Lou to help young readers relate to this scientific fantasy. Although the plot and setting is flip flopped between the two worlds, it is easily followed. The descriptions of the underground world and Trey and Lou’s adventures there are very moving, but these long descriptions tend to take away from the flow of the story as well. The use of mythology between the two worlds is not fully developed; therefore its presence is lost within the story. Lou’s final transformation into the green man in the underworld shows that his presence was effective. Cooper’s creative writing and imagination of the underworld make a powerful statement about the need to protect our earth form development and pollution. Her connection between the two worlds: the spider, the spider’s silk, the importance of the star seashells, wind, water, and the sand all take part in showing the fragility of our earth. Recommended age for this scientific fantasy: 10-13. Grades 5-8
  murphykathleen | Jun 6, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Cooperprimary authorall editionscalculated
Call, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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