Figgs & Phantoms

Figgs Phantoms From the Newbery Award winning author of THE WESTING GAME clever riddles and wordplay clues to be found and mysteries to be solved A Newbery Honor bookThe Amazing Dancing Figgs While Mona hates all

  • Title: Figgs & Phantoms
  • Author: Ellen Raskin
  • ISBN: 9780142411698
  • Page: 498
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the Newbery Award winning author of THE WESTING GAME, clever riddles and wordplay, clues to be found, and mysteries to be solved A Newbery Honor bookThe Amazing Dancing Figgs While Mona hates all 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 hintFrom the Newbery Award winning author of THE WESTING GAME, clever riddles and wordplay, clues to be found, and mysteries to be solved A Newbery Honor bookThe Amazing Dancing Figgs While Mona hates all 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 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 involved

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      Published :2020-03-27T00:39:57+00:00

    2 thoughts on “Figgs & Phantoms

    1. Ellen Raskin was a writer, illustrator, and designer She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up during the Great Depression She primarily wrote for children She received the 1979 Newbery Medal for her 1978 book, The Westing Game.Ms Raskin was also an accomplished graphic artist She designed dozens of dust jackets for books, including the first edition of Madeleine L Engle s classic A Wrinkle in Time.She married Dennis Flanagan, editor of Scientific American, in 1965.Raskin died at the age of 56 on August 8, 1984, in New York City due to complications from connective tissue disease.

    2. 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 quite like this. Amazing.

    3. 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 mates.The original (?) cover is brilliant. A B&W faceless tween girl, holding a pink and orange miniature desert island, complete with palm tree and Uncle Flo. The other covers that I see here are nonsense and to b [...]

    4. This book was originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.Figgs 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 quite excited to read Figgs and Phantoms.Alas Figgs just didn't work for me It was quite the disappointment [...]

    5. I wish Raskin hadn't bothered with the silly names "Figgs" and "Newtons." It detracts from the 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 jokes 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 t [...]

    6. 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 expectations…and while these other books exhibit her signature style (and illustrations), they are not in the same league.While she lives in an eccentric world, Mona, daughter of Sister Figg Newton and Newton “Newt” Newton still deals wi [...]

    7. Some critics have called it her masterpiece, yet there are reasons why it is less fondly remembered. A quick search of shows readers who love it, hate it, and just 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 curious protagonist, Mona Figg is the youngest member of the extended Figg family, an eccentric group of former circus performers, book collectors, car salesmen, tap dancer [...]

    8. Figgs & Phantoms was and wasn't what I expected. I thought it would be quirky and funny, and it was. I didn't expect it to mention pornography or have a discussion about the highly-charged "N"-word. (And Raskin doesn't abbreviate it. However, the context is the main character's horror of it being used in the title of a Joseph Conrad novel.)The book was whimsical and zany, but it managed to be more complex and grown-up than I expected--both silly and smart.I also loved the typography. There a [...]

    9. 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 person 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 [...]

    10. I was interested in reading more of Raskin's books after reading The Westing Game and after reading reviews of other books my boys and I have been reading where people made comparisons to Raskin. I loved the first half--super quirky, 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, quirks, and place in the community. There are all sorts of mysteries about all o [...]

    11. 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 just hadn't really achieved full maturity as a writer yet.I 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 just were [...]

    12. The positive: Funny and heartbreaking and meaningful. Seeing the good and the bad in your family instead of only one or the other, understanding the naturalness of death, forgiving the people who've accidentally (and unknowingly) caused you pain.The negative: The second half is most people's least favorite, because it is in some ways a departure from what came before. I loved it, though.The summary: I love Ellen Raskin. In both this and The Westing Game, she gives so much respect and depth to he [...]

    13. And interesting novel in terms of its time period: it seems that Raskin was influenced by 70s psychedelia. I felt like the search for "Capri" was one long acid trip.They mystery in this novel was very shallowI kept looking for clues and was waiting for the solution to be revealed. And as one reviewer pointed out, this book was not very funny. It seems somewhat incomplete, as though it was a first draft.

    14. Talking about Joseph Conrad made me remember this book. Run and get it for your child (or you) immediately. I think Wes Anderson had to have read these. All Ellen Raskin's books are beyond brilliant.

    15. It's no The Westing Game (5 stars!), but any Raskin is worth a read. Mona's grief is real and sad and scary. The "dream" sequence in the second half of the book is a little much for me, but I can see how it would appeal to others.

    16. You know how the elders in your life will sometimes just offload whatever they have on hand to the younger generations? My spouse and I have learned that there's only one answer to that question: why yes, of course we'll take [that item/box/pile], what a generous offer and of course we'll make use of it! But that often winds up the preamble to hauling the [item/box/pile] to the garbage or, if we're feeling sufficiently generous with our time, Goodwill.One such offload was a bag of (mostly) books [...]

    17. I’m not sure if this review is going to be of this woefully overshadowed novel or of my own state of mind over the last 109 days. Death is all around us, obviously, and often a subject or theme in our works of art, but never are you more aware of it than after you have experienced a particularly painful loss in your own life. Since the death of my father, I’m pretty sure that every single thing I’ve read has engaged with a deeply significant death. And fathers, I’ve encountered dead fath [...]

    18. First encountered this book in elementary school in the late 1970s while burning through the list of Newbery books. It stuck with me, but, couldn't remember the author or title. Wasn't that hard to find it though; not so many YA books about rare bookstores or Joseph Conrad fetishes.After re-reading, must say this was darker and more thought-provoking than I remembered. Many reviews talk about the big shift between the halves of the book and I agree. But in the end was still happy to revisit.

    19. • 1975 Newbery Honor Book •I was excited to read this because I really love "The Westing Game", but this is one strange book. I was really thrown off by the odd names, and just the whole oddity of the family. So it went from a weird book with quirky characters in the first half, to Mona dealing with her uncle's death in the second half. It went from weird to depressing. Something just wasn't working for me in this book It almost feels like a first draft. I also wasn't thrilled that Mona's co [...]

    20. I'm a fan of Ellen Raskin but this one was tough. A slight tale which does have a great deal of underlying sweetness and sadness but is buried in so many absurd and strange characters that it never quite connects.My kids might have liked it a bit better - I read it out loud to them - but they weren't jumping up and down at the end.

    21. This is a quick read with quirky characters. What has endeared this book to me is how it allows the reader to experience the grief the main character experiences. I loved the message of grief and acceptance of oneself and family members.

    22. Not quite as good as Westing Game but still greatNot quite as good as Westing Game but still great. It’s a good UCF read and does have a little adult content in it but me and my kids loved reading this one.

    23. only finished it because I was reading it aloud to my oldest and she insisted we continue because she said it was weird and different. Definitely those things, but not good weird/different for me. I don't see how this was a Newbery book.

    24. A strange book but a fun fast read. Reference is made to pornography - no descriptions or the like, just mentions it.

    25. This is a weird book about a quirky family that somehow is an excellent discussion about family and death.

    26. The prejudice that holds that a book cannot be worthwhile unless it treats of serious and realistic subjects in a serious and realistic fashion is thankfully on the wane these days, though it remains powerful: don't hold your breath for Neil Gaiman's next novel to be shortlisted for the Pulitzer or the Booker. Still, genre fiction has come a long way, so the next step is, I feel, for the literary merit of children’s books to be more widely recognized. While some children’s books (I refer her [...]

    27. Well now, this certainly is something different. Author Ellen Raskin has been known for decades as someone willing to tinker a little bit with the standard novel structure, telling her stories in ways that don't always stick to conventional print techniques. Her greatest triumph in this vein was probably The Westing Game, winner of the 1979 Newbery Medal, but Figgs & Phantoms has its moments of innovative storytelling that clearly mark Ellen Raskin as the intelligent writer that she was. The [...]

    28. If I had to sum this book up in one word it would berange. I've read two of Ellen Raskin's other juvenile fiction books: The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues and one of my all-time favorite books, The Westing Game. I was expecting this book to be kind of like those wasn't. This book is about a girl named Mona Newton who has a slightly crazy, definitely odd, former showbiz family. Her mother was a Figg--yes, they're Figgs and Newtons--and her family believes in an island called Capri, which is a k [...]

    29. I would rate this very unusual book quite a bit higher, but for two things being present in an acclaimed children's book: 1) What is with the apparently author-condoned, though protagonist-scorned pornography issue of her cousin? (Was that supposed to be a calling-out against it if taken at the face value of Mona's disgust, or taken at the emotional sensing of the author saying - what? - good people are flawed and we should overlook their faults? Sorry - not accepting that particular fault in li [...]

    30. A reissue of the 1974 Newbery Honor winner, Figgs and Phantoms tells the story (dubbed “a mysterious romance or a romantic mystery”) of Mona Lisa Figg Newton, a misfit living in fictional Pineapple, with her crazy family, both the Figgs and the Newtons. The only person she feels that understands her is her Uncle Florence (Italy, of course). But when he suddenly departs for what the family believes to be their afterlife on a place called Capri. Florence is determined to find him and goes on a [...]

    31. Mona Newton's life is a trying one: she's constantly embarrassed by her flamboyant family, the Figgs, and really only connects with her uncle Florence. Together they form the Figg-Newton Giant, who appears once a month to steal books from the top shelf of Ebenezer Bargain's book store, and then walk slowly back to Newton "Newt" Newton (aka "Dad")'s used car lot. The Figg family follows a strange religion, one based on finding a mysterious island, Capri (not the one we all know). Several of the F [...]

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