Figgs & Phantoms

by Ellen Raskin

Paperback, 2011



Call number

PB Ras

Call number

PB Ras

Local notes

PB Ras




Puffin Books (2011), 176 pages


Chronicles the adventures of the unusual Figg family after they left show business and settled in the town of Pineapple.


Newbery Medal (Honor Book — 1975)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

176 p.; 5.1 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
I really enjoyed this story - watching Mona come to grips with a major change in the make up of her family - and learning to see her life from a different point of view. Not too much of a puzzle, but actually for me that was a plus - I focused on the story instead of the clues.
LibraryThing member cmbohn
If all you've ever read by Raskin is The Westing Game, you really should pick up some of her other books. This one is a fun place to start. Mona is a misfit in a family of misfits. Her family are former vaudeville performers now trying to settle down, but their flamboyant personalities tend to draw
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lots of attention. Mona just wants to be normal. The only person in her whole family who understands her is her uncle, and he's getting old and sick. Amazon has this one and several other Raskin books on sale now for really cheap. I included this one in with some presents for my husband and daughter. It was under $3 and I'm so happy with it. 4 stars.
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LibraryThing member bragan
I absolutely adored Ellen Raskin as a kid, so when I found a set of three of her books recently, going cheap, I couldn't resist picking them up and revisiting her. This is the first of the three I've read. It features Mona, a rather sullen girl who is deeply embarrassed by her wacky family of
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former Vaudeville performers -- all but Uncle Flo, the bookseller, to whom she is extremely close. When her uncle dies, she is devastated, and goes to look for him in her family's own private version of heaven.

This wasn't my favorite of Raskin's books from my childhood, but the fact that I remember it at all says something about the impression it made on me. And I can see what I liked about it as a kid. It's weird and quirky, and a little bit poignant. And it expresses an appreciation of books, which is something I've been a sucker for since I was old enough to read. As an adult, though, I don't know... It was almost a little too relentlessly quirky, and I'm not at all sure what to make of the heaven stuff, which I probably just took completely in stride back then. So, while it was interesting to take a look at, it was probably never going to do for me at forty-two quite what it did for me at eight.
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LibraryThing member TeenSpirit
A wonderful story for anyone who has ever felt out of place in the world, or lost someone they loved. Mona's family is strange, but they love her, and in her loneliness she almost loses sight of that swimming through her dreams. "Figgs & Phantoms" is a quick read that evokes a lot of feeling. One
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of my favorites.
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
Mona's family doesn't believe in heaven, they believe in Capri. Not the real-world island off the coast of Italy, but a paradise specific to their family. When Mona's favorite uncle "goes to Capri," she's determined to follow him there -- but can she find the way?

This is a truly weird little book,
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and not in a good way. I felt off-balance all the way through, due to the unlikable main character, the intentional absurdity of the details, and the extended dream sequence at the climax. This book was awarded a Newbery Honor -- but I'm still not quite sure why!
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LibraryThing member electrascaife
Mona Lisa Figg is full of teenage angst against her village weirdo family, all except her Uncle Florence. When she realizes that she's going to lose him, things fall completely apart for her, and she decides on a desperate search for the lost island of Capri, to which the more eccentric members of
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her family believe they go when they die.
This one started out strange in a quirky and good way, but once Mona embarks on some strange fever dream quest, the quirky and good starts to fade and we're left with just plain strange. Disappointing, really: Westing Game this is not.
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½ (66 ratings; 3.8)
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