Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
Twelve-year-old Ollie Oxley is moving-again. His mom is starting another new job, this time at the Bingham Theater in Granite City, California. Moving all the time means Ollie has struggled in the making friends department, but he quickly connects with a boy named Teddy. To Ollie's surprise, though, his first friend in town is a little more . . . unique than those he's made in the past. Teddy is a ghost. Befriending someone who lived during the famous California Gold Rush sure does make things interesting for Ollie. But when the school bully, Aubrey, targets Ollie and it looks like the Bingham Theater might close, the stakes couldn't be higher. Can Teddy and Ollie work together to take down Aubrey, save his mom's job, and solve a mystery years in the making?
"Twelve-year-old Ollie Oxley isn't expecting his first friend in town to be a ghost, but together they team up to save his mom's theater and take down the school bully"-- Provided by publisher.
Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 3 Up-Twelve-year-old Ollie Oxley is the new kid in town again. His mother has a new job at the local theater in Granite City, CA, and Ollie and his sister DeeDee have to start over in an unfamiliar place. Granite City seems like every other town they've lived in until Ollie realizes that the boy sitting in the back of the class at school is actually a 200-year-old ghost named Teddy. When a local bully buys the theater and threatens to shut it down for good, Ollie and Teddy try to track down an old treasure in order to save his mother's job. Though this is a story about ghosts, it never veers into scary territory; Teddy is kind and helpful, and even the less friendly ghosts in town are more annoying than menacing. The book weaves together a historical mystery with a contemporary school story about bullies and class elections, and though the villains are over-the-top and one-dimensional, the conclusion is still satisfying and surprising, and may be particularly exciting to children with an interest in American history. Because of its simple plot and basic themes, this book would be particularly suitable for younger readers who are ready to move beyond chapter books. VERDICT This not-so-scary ghost story toes the line between simple and simplistic, but it contains enough interesting elements to engage young readers who are ready to try a longer book.-Madison Bishop, Plymouth Public Library, MA © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
It's never easy being the new kid, but when Ollie Oxley moves to California, things get off to a weird start. He meets Teddy, who turns out to be a ghost; a bully sets her sights on Ollie; and he runs for class president. But his mom's job is at stake, and he may have to move again. Teddy, though, has a plan: all they have to do is find the gold his father buried. Schmid's characters use humor to cope with tough situations, as seen through Teddy's jokes and Ollie's continuous sarcasm. The treasure hunt incorporates a historical element, and Ollie has several mysteries to solve as he searches for the gold and attempts to discover the truth of Teddy's identity. Ollie comes of age and eventually starts to find a place for himself as he deals with bullies, his difficulties making friends, and his family's constant moves. Through Teddy, the narrative takes a lighthearted approach to the concept of death, and this debut is full of humor, friendship, and new beginnings.--Elizabeth Konkel Copyright 2019 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
A preteen detective solves an important case with an unusual partner.Ollie Oxley is not pleased about moving again, but his mom's new job at the Bingham Theater in Granite City, California, may provide some form of permanence. After moving so many times, Ollie's friend-making skills are a bit rusty, but it isn't too long before he finds a pal in Teddy. But Teddy isn't like most 12-year-olds. First off, Teddy is a ghost, a ghost of a boy who lived during the Gold Rush. The two friends tangle with the school bully and solve a mystery that will save the Bing and (more importantly) keep Ollie's mom's job. The novel is light and breezy, moving forward at a quick clip. Readers may bump up against Ollie's snark-filled attitude at first, but the author provides just enough reason for the character's hard edges before sanding them down. Teddy's character is a bit more interesting, and readers might find themselves wondering how the story would seem from his perspective. While there's nothing here that bucks any trends, the novel remains a well-built work: smartly structured with enough character work to hold interest and a solid mystery that springs like a well-coiled mousetrap. Readers fascinated by ghost stories and mysteries and even history will find that this scratches those particular itches. The book adheres to the white default.A sturdy mystery with engaging sleuths. (Supernatural mystery. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.