Review Blog

Sep 10 2013

How to scare the pants off your pets by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

cover image

Ghost Buddy series. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 9781407132303.
Recommended 8-12 years. Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver continue their long history of collaborating to write children's books with this the third of the Ghost Buddy Series featuring Billy Broccoli and his ghostly housemate Hoover Porterhouse the Third aka The Hoove.
Billy has a problem. Well more to the point The Hoove has a problem which equates to a less than pleasant life for Billy. Once again The Higher-ups, the higher beings that monitor ghost behaviour, have been very disappointed in The Hoove's grades in 'Responsibility to Others'. So much so, that now he has been confined to the house, until he shows a marked improvement in his grade.
Living with a bored ghost who thinks he's perfect and who no one else sees is not easy, made more so as The Hoove rages against his confinement. A chance meeting with Amber and her pet rat gives Billy an idea. What better way to show responsibility than to take care of a pet.
A series of hilarious episodes follow as pet after low maintenance pet is introduced to The Hoove with chaos reigning and no sign of the Higher-ups relenting. The arrival of a stray cat which seems remarkably calm in the presence of a ghost who finally manages to be ungrounded.
As I read I could imagine the scenes played out on the small screen reflecting the background of both writers as television producers.
Sue Keane

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