Kids love fantasy-based novels, but they’re not always well written and they don’t always send a positive message. Bog, a new middle-grade novel by Karen Krossing, does both while managing to be the kind of book kids will love.
In Bog, trolls and humans exist within very different cultures. Trolls consider humans to be weak and foolish; trolls just want to be left alone in nature. To humans, trolls are like dangerous animals—to be tricked and then destroyed (sunlight turns them to stone) with impunity.
The main character, Bog, will discover that not all humans are bad, and that there’s a little bit of human—and a little bit of troll—in us all.
The story itself is about a journey to stop a troll hunter who is teaching people how to destroy trolls. But the story is also a metaphor for the divide, comprising fear and ignorance, that separates cultures.
Written after 9/11 and with its aftermath in mind, Krossing explores racism and stereotyping with a gentle hand.
Bog is a well written and well-crafted adventure with a flawed yet likeable main character set in a believable other-world. The plot clicks right along; it will hook and enchant even reluctant readers.
Bog, by Karen Krossing; lush cover illustration by Félix Gerard; published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
Lena Coakley interviews Karen about what inspired her to write Bog – here.
Karen’s blog – with more about the process of writing Bog.
Karen is giving away 10 copies of Bog on GoodReads until June 1, 2014.
Watch this brief trailer for Bog