Sam Wu has the perfect plan to prove that he’s brave: embark on a bold adventure, get a “trusty companion,” and defeat the ghost in his home!
After an INCIDENT that has people calling him Scaredy-Cat Sam, Sam’s efforts to prove them wrong take on a life of their own. His solo trip to space derailed, Sam finds himself the owner of an enormous snake and the unwitting host to some supernatural activity—probably the Ghost King! But with his best friends, Zoe (the fastest and tallest!) and Bernard (the smartest!), and Lucy (“a pretty good little sister,” sometimes), Sam just might be able to handle it all. Sam’s crises tread a well-worn path, but his authentically funny voice still appeals (while purchasing a KILLER SNAKE: “Oh, there’s no need for me to hold it!…I can tell that is a high-quality snake”). Reluctant readers and fans of the Wimpy Kid series and its ilk will appreciate the book’s dynamic type, graphics galore, cartoonish illustrations, and ironic footnotes. Though some characterizations read a bit rote (athletic Zoe is darker-skinned, while brainy Bernard is white), Sam’s mortification during his Chinese family’s meal of roast duck and turnip cake will resonate with anyone who has ever felt different.
Funny but not groundbreaking, a solid purchase for those looking to diversify their early chapter book collections. (Fiction. 7-10)