Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

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Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

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Buy Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by 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
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9781407132297

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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.

Buy Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver at Amazon 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


Buy Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver at Amazon 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.

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