Friday, April 13, 2018

Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol: The Haunted House next door by Andres Miedoso, illustrated by Victor Rivas

Andres has moved to a new town, yet again. Boring old Kersville. Except maybe it's not quite so boring after all... First, he meets a strange kid next door called Desmond who drops some very odd hints about calling him for help. Then he discovers his new house has a ghost!

Luckily for Andres, Desmond just happens to be the world's eight-year-old ghost expert. Like a paranormal Encyclopedia Brown, Desmond sets out with his equipment and solves the problem. But can he solve it before the ghost destroys Andres' house or gets stinky ghost goo all over the couch??

Told in the first-person, this funny, gross, and slightly scary book is the perfect beginning chapter series for kids who are fans of Ghostbusters or want just that little hint of spooky, but not too spooky. Rivas' black and white illustrations show the normal-boring Andres, smart and sassy Desmond, and their clueless but friendly parents.

Even better, I've finally got a beginning chapter series starring a Hispanic family! Woo! Andres' family throws in the occasional Spanish phrase and have dark hair and light brown skin. His parents are scientists and move around frequently because they work for the government. Desmond and his family are African-American and they live a pretty typical suburban lifestyle. They're not sidekicks or friends of the white kid, they are the main protagonists!

Verdict: Kids will laugh out loud at the funny antics, shiver over the spooky haunting scenes, and snicker as the ghost gets a taste of Desmond's mom's lasagna. Yuck! Perfect for beginning chapter readers with large type and plenty of black and white illustrations. I'm going to have to wait because I want to add it to my series section, which I can only update annually, but next December I will be purchasing the whole series! Recommended.

ISBN: 9781534410381; Published December 2017 by Little Simon; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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