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Lead by example. Let your children see you reading for pleasure in your spare time.
Summary: Jake was excited to be at the fair. When his sister and her boyfriend left him, he headed straight to the scariest ride he could find: the ghost train. Just as the ride was ending, a ghost popped out and made Jake laugh. When the ghost train owner learned his ghost wasn't scary, he fired him. Jake felt bad and took the ghost on lots of rides. With Jake racing from ride to ride, it was the ghost who got scared. This is a chapter book with pictures to help new readers develop their skills.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, read aloud book, learning to read, remedial reader, transitional reader
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 5 to 9
Reading Level: 2.9
Age of Child: Read with 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: We planned to read a couple of chapters each night, and without fail, our child wanted to "read more" each evening. Interestingly, though, the ending didn't stick with her, because she didn't remember it and wanted us to read it again.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a cute story, with a nice twist on the lets-get-scared theme. The Ghost Inspector adds some fun, as well. Although Jake has a major role, the star of the show is the ghost. The author doesn't dwell on the fact that Jake caused the ghost to lose his job, so there is no written remorse.
Pros: Newly independent readers will enjoy this story about a cute little ghost who learns to be scary by hanging out with a little boy.
Cons: Readers who take a story's presentation very seriously may object to the idea that Jake's chaperons ditched him and he wandered the fair by himself.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a nice story that is fun to read. Definitely get it at the library, but it is not likely to be a family favorite for generations.
Educational Themes: This is a story that is crafted to help young readers develop vocabulary and practice reading longer books. There is plenty of repetition (without being obvious about it) for reinforcing reading skills. For younger readers/listeners, you can also draw out themes of friendship, responsibility, and respect.