Friday, January 25, 2019

Ollie Oxley and the Ghost: The Search for Lost Gold by Lisa Schmid

Ollie Oxley and the Ghost: The Search for Lost GoldMy name is Teddy, but that's all I remembered when I first appeared to Ollie. He moves a lot and is having a rough time since he's moved to Granite City with his mom and sister. I love helping him handle the school bully, although he's not as excited as he should be about challenging her for class president. His bigger problem is that he may need to move again, but I have the solution. His mom needs money to save the Bingham Theater, and my father buried his gold under a tree in our backyard. It would be helpful if I could remember where I lived, or even remember my last name. Ollie's trying to find clues about my identity and where I may have lived, but time is running out. The bully's mother is causing trouble again.

I received an advanced copy from NetGalley. The book blended the mystery and tension of the conflict with Teddy's mischievousness and humor. A big, creative part of the problem was the fact that Teddy remembered almost nothing about his past. Ollie became an amateur detective, and random pictures and stories sparked new clues from Teddy's memories. Teddy's "appearance" created an embarrassment for Ollie, as others saw him talking to himself. The bully is a common problem in middle-grade novels, and the one in this book didn't do anything unexpected. It felt like the author was creating some sympathy for the character, but my feelings about her were still uncertain in the end. Ollie was a good guy and was the highlight of the story. He teased his younger sister, as many siblings do, but he had great compassion for his family. His big motivation throughout the plot was to save his family from moving again. The election race for class president was a nice twist to the events and offered Teddy more opportunities for mischief. Overall, this book was a cute introduction to a new series, and upper elementary readers should enjoy it. 

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