Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy)

Mind If I Read Your Mind? (Ghost Buddy) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver (Scholastic UK)
PB RRP $9.99
ISBN 978-1-407132-29-7
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Billy Broccoli is back along with his ghostly buddy, Hoover Porterhouse the Third. This time the Hoove is pulling out all stops to help his friend win the speech day award by showing off Billy’s ‘special talent’ for mind reading.

Their awesome display has Billy becoming popular with the other students, especially Ruby. But by the time the finals come around, Billy is unsure about whether it is fair to win with a trick, over students with real talents. And in the meantime, his new found-friendship with Ricardo is not pleasing the Hoove at all.
The Ghost Buddy stories are funny. This one is just as entertaining as the first. Once again the Hoove tries to make Billy cool, and once again, Billy struggles with the ethics of his ghost buddy’s plans.

Underneath the humorous storyline and banter, the story explores more serious problems which often face young teens. The social issues of friendships, bullies, popularity and loyalties can seem insurmountable at that age, let alone the insecurities surrounding embarrassing families and interacting with the opposite sex. These are all touched on in a light, but not superficial, way.

Some readers may find the story very American in flavour, and there is a strong emphasis on baseball, but apart from not understanding the references to historic baseball players, I didn’t find this a bad thing. I look forward to the next instalment of Billy’s adventures with his ghost.

A great read for 10 years and up.

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