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I wish Raskin hadn t bothered with the silly names Figgs

#And Newtons It Detracts From #
Newtons It detracts from story which is very profound bordering on the philosophical about a girl s coming to terms with the death of her favorite uncle Raskin s fond of making little inside okes and puns on pop culture but most of the pop culture references are sadly outdated There are allusions to songs that were on the Hit Parade in the 1930s and 1940s and laudatory references to the works of Joseph Conrad not that Conrad was a bad writer necessarily but how many people outside of graduate literature classes read Conrad any I m not sure most undergrads read Conrad except for Heart of Darkness and that seems old old old nowToo bad about the contrived names and the punning It s almost as if Raskin was ashamed to tell a straight story about how children deal with loss But she was such a good writer she should have trusted herself This edition has lovely illustrations from Raskin Each page is a treat to look at Some critics have called it her masterpiece yet there are reasons why it is less fondly remembered A uick search of Goodreads shows readers who love it hate it and ust think its weird Much less accessible than her other mysteries Figgs and Phantoms is a dark book that examines a lonely girls searching for a reason to live A a dark book that examines a lonely girls searching for a reason to live A protagonist Mona Figg is the youngest member of the extended Figg family an eccentric group of former circus performers book collectors car salesmen tap dancers sign painters and tour guides all seen as failures by the town Already desperately unhappy tragedy strikes when her beloved uncle Florence Figg health begins to fail and he threatens to leave her for Capri What is Capri you ask Well naturally that s where the Figg Family believes they go after death The uestion for much of the book is what will Mona do if she believes he Uncle has left of the book is what will Mona do if she believes he Uncle has left Dark and mysterious the book is propelled along in Raskin s tight prose it s amazing how much she is able to put ust 150 pages Life death Joseph Conrad Figgs the fruit along with Raskins signature word play Recommended for sophisticated readers 10 and up Although it may be a less straightforward mystery it is perhaps her most ambitious work Not recommended if your a new reader to Raskin look to her other three novels for a good introduction That being said for the right reader this one is special I paraphrased an old blog post I wrote which has on Ellen Raskin and can be found here I was interested in reading of Raskin s books after reading The Westing Game an. From the Newbery Award winning author of THE WESTING GAME clever riddles and wordplay clues to be found and mysteries to be solvedA Newbery Honor bookThe Amazing Dancing FiggsWhile Mona hates al. ,

D after reading reviews of other books *MY BOYS AND I HAVE BEEN *boys and I have been where people made comparisons to Raskin I loved the first half super uirky weird characters the main character s name is Mona Lisa Figg Newton You gotta love that She comes from a crazy family of Vaudeville performers every one with their own crazy names uirks and place in the community There are all sorts of mysteries about all of them you can t wait to find out the why s behind them But for the most part you never doThe second half though into a child s dealing wtih death It goes from uirky weird to The Red Hat Society Cookbook just weird Or a 70 s acid trip Itust went downhill for me Maybe when the Newbery club gets around to the year this was honored and I reread it I ll appreciate it better Now I see a dark surreal artsy fable I admire it but I really don t like it But I feel I should even could in the right frame of mind with the right discussion matesThe original cover is brilliant A BW faceless tween girl holding a pink and orange miniature A BW faceless tween girl holding a pink and orange miniature island complete with palm tree and Uncle Flo The other covers that I see here are nonsense and to be avoided cover them while reading if you do read from them To say that I really like Ellen Raskin s The Westing Game is an understatement I adore that book So when I got copies of two other Raskin books The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon I Mean Noel and Figgs and Phantoms in a giveaway I had great expectationsand while these other books exhibit her signature style and illustrations they are not in the same leagueWhile she lives in an eccentric world Mona daughter of Sister Figg Newton and Newton Newt Newton still deals with preadolescent difficulties She is embarrassed and often annoyed by her zany parents She feels that the only person who understands her is her uncle Florence FiggUncle Florence hints that he is soon to leave this world but Mona doesn t want him to leave her with a tap dancer for a mother and an incompetent used car dealer for a father The Figgs descend from circus performers and have their own personal heaven they call Capri Mona finds her way there to search for her beloved uncle and readers can decide whether Mona is dreaming or if her spirit is actually in Capri when she passes outEach writer creates a world and Raskin creates peculiar ones with lots of clever wordplay where loving families are made up of eccentric characters some related and some not Children trying to figure themselves out in these books deal with sometimes immature adults another hallmark of children s literature While. L the attention her eccentric relatives bring to her in town there is one Figg family member she likes her Uncle Florence the book dealer But Uncle Florence keeps hinting that he's going to find. ,

summary Figgs Phantoms

Beneath Passions Skies Late Checkout (Witch City Mystery Redbone 2 Tempt
Figgs PhantomsThere were a few slightly *dated andor not politically correct notions floating through The Westing Game Raskin s earlier books *andor not politically correct notions floating through The Westing Game Raskin s earlier books even of these themes And at times the uirkiness and whimsy is a bit muchRead of my review on my booksploitation blog Mona was miserable You would be too if your family consisted of Sister Figg Newton Tap Dancer Baton Twirler and also your mother Truman the human pretzel your uncle Aunt Gracie Jo the dog catcher and her son Fido the Second To name A Few The Only few The only Mona really gets along with is Uncle Florence the book dealer And he keeps hinting that he may have to leave Mona soon to go to Figg family heaven a place referred to as Capri But where is Capri and why do all the Figgs go there To find her uncle Mona knows she must find out I ve read this book many many times and have the ampersand from it tattooed on my wrist Yet somehow I never realized how terrifying this book is Also there is truly no other book uite like this Amazing This book was originally reviewed on my blog Books from Bleh to Basically AmazingFiggs and Phantoms by Ellen Raskin won the Nebery Honor in 1975 Four years later she won the Newbery Award for The Westing Game I read The Westing Game several years ago and I really enjoyed it It was wonderfully complex and the characters were simply delightful More on that later So I was actually uite excited to read Figgs and PhantomsAlas Figgs ust didn t work for me It was uite the disappointment I started this book not really knowing what to expect t work for me It was uite the disappointment I started this book not really knowing what to expect the story itself but looking forward to it because I had so enjoyed The Westing Game SighFiggs and Phantoms is about a family The Figgs who are all wildy uirky except the youngest daughterniece Mona She is decidedly normal hates her family s weirdness and is terribly embarrassed by what she believes the people of her to Figgs Phantoms was and wasn t what I expected I thought it would be uirky and funny and it was I didn t expect I don t know This was disappointing I think of The Westing Game as a masterpiece and because this novel was published several years earlier perhaps Raskin ust hadn t really achieved full maturity as a writer yetI want to reread it as the beginning was very boring to me and I think I missed some important plot points but the story was brimming with so many interesting ideas about books and what exactly they mean to different people is it an escape is it a business venture that Sequins and Spurs just weren t developped fully and instead we wereust given too much of the uirky and offbeatGrade. His way to Capri the Figg family heaven And that means leaving Mona behind Can Mona find Capri before it's too late or will she learn that things are seldom what they seem when books are involv.