By Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver
Scholastic, $5.99, 170 pages

When 11-year-old Billy moves into a new house with his newly blended family in Ghost Buddy, he thinks the worst thing about it is a pink and purple bedroom. That was before he met Hoover Porterhouse III, the teenaged ghost who’d been living in his bedroom for 99 years. Looking for some fun (and good ghost grades), Hoover decides to help Billy settle into his new school and make friends. With a best friend for a ghost, things don’t always go as planned.

“‘Calm down Georgie Boy. You sound like my cousin Annabel when she got bit by the horse pulling the ice wagon.’ Billy’s head was swimming. Was this a dream or was he actually having a conversation with a sleeve?”

The idea of having a ghost, especially a ghost from a century ago, makes this book hilarious as Billy and Hoover negotiate their obvious language and cultural differences. At least they both love baseball! But despite the ghost, this book is really just about two friends trying to negotiate the minefields of friendship, bullies, girls and more. Hopefully, while enjoying the fun story, young readers will absorb some worthwhile lessons.

Three cheers to a book that ends each brief chapter with a cliffhanger that will leave even the most reluctant young reader wanting more. The book ends, albeit a bit abruptly, with the promise of more Ghost Buddy adventures to come.

Jodi M. Webb