Billy Broccoli gamely tries to help his ghostly roommate Hoover “the Hoove” Porterhouse III boost a failing grade in Responsibility to Others, with results that will leave readers more confused than enlightened.
Hoping that caring for a pet will get the displeased Higher-Ups off his ectoplasmic buddy’s back, Billy lines up a series of animal visitors. After several disasters, including a wildly destructive romp with a pair of rented goats, the Hoove earns a reprieve by treating a stray mama cat kindly and carefully screening the applicants for her kittens. Considering the Hoove’s sulky attitude throughout (“Okay, let’s take a gander at your second colossal failure”) and his continuing delight in playing obnoxious pranks on the Broccolis, their neighbors, police officers or anyone he can get his conveniently substantial hands on, his reform comes off as both sudden and unlikely to last.
A middle-grade sitcom episode, with some unconvincing behavioral modeling and a superficial resolution. (Fantasy. 10-12)