Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
|Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: No sense of Caspar's tweeness, as this other friendly ghost for primary schoolers gets tricksy - and crabby, too. It holds promise for more fun elsewhere in the series' life-span.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 176||Date: August 2012|
Every boy needs a mentor, and Billy Broccoli is no exception. His, however, is The Hoove - a ghost, who is able to impart a hundred years' worth of nous and savvy, and yet still able to use words like doofus as if he was a real, live fourteen year old. With nobody else knowing about this friendship, life is certainly lively for Billy, but also helped - when a show-and-tell-type competitive school demonstration leads to the magic the title suggests. But can Billy really rely on such an opinionated, moody helper, when the crunch comes?
It's easy to see a little of the Fonz in The Hoove, and yes, it is that Henry Winkler. He's a sharp-talking, fun-loving, spirited, er, spirit, and his character and abilities bring a real sense of Saturday morning kid's TV to the book. Billy himself is reasonable - not terribly interesting, but it is easy to imagine the scenes of him with his new stepsister as a whole lot worse than they are. His finding-new-friends-in-a-new-school problem is done well.
I hope however that I would rate the rest of this on-going series as better. It suffers a little by being too much a fan of baseball, and while math has been edited to maths it does come across as very American. And despite being peppered with subtly-drawn life lessons - for Billy and for The Hoove - the ending, without giving too much away, is clunky and lame, and I would defy anyone to find a child who would actually agree with it.
Before then it's all jovial, well-intentioned, yet satisfyingly entertaining stuff. It's old-school sensibilities - fairness, friendship, patience and loyalty - taught with a new-school style. The TV version playing in my head as I read this was engaging, and full of fun effects, and I'm sure this makes a good series of books - but here's too much that makes this one a below-par entrant in it.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
The series started here.
You can read more book reviews or buy Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.