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Ghost Boy

Seventh grader Ben Conover sees people no one else can see. When he confides in his best friend, it's not long before smart phones start lighting up with text messages as the air cackles with gossip and he becomes known in school as the 'Ghost Boy'. Home has become a battle ground between his Mum's acceptance and his Dad's disapproval. Ben desperately seeks his father's approval and wants to be like a regular twelve-year-old. But he doesn't want to break free from his spirit friend, Abby, who shows up when he is in danger or about to do something wrong. Will Ben's father accept his son's psychic gifts? Can Ben persuade his father that spirits are real and not just hallucinations? And who exactly is Abby? This is not a typical ghost story designed to give you a quick and forgettable thrill, but a serious novel for all ages about a clairvoyant kid and the remarkable gift he has.

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"A lovely coming of age tale about a boy who is subtly "different": Growing up in Bakersfield, the son of a strict Alabama-raised father and a generous, open-minded Hispanic mother, Ben sees ghosts. A young girl who appears to alert him to potential danger he names Abby. She doesn't speak, but his late grandmother does. His father thinks he needs psychiatric help; his mother believes and nourishes Ben's truth. Ben faces the decision every day to turn aside from his gift, or to fully embrace it.
This novel I recommend to all. It's heartwarming, encouraging, and inspiring. Ben is twelve and thirteen during the story, but readers of all ages can discover excitement and encouragement within these well-written pages."

~ “Haunted Reader” on

As the story progresses, issues relating to mental health, loss, familial interactions and loyalty are all heavily featured, making it a very rich in lessons on morality and how you should treat your fellow man. 
Although it was a relatively short publication due to the fact it is aimed at younger readers, I felt like the background given to Ben and his family was more than adequate. I also felt that
although Abby was essentially a secondary character, the skillful portrayal and eventual reveal of her identity was ridiculously well done. 
Now here is a big one – up until the point at which I am writing this review and going through my standard checklist, I didn’t actually realise that intricate imagery is not particularly present. The thing is, it didn’t need to be because the story of Ben was so engrossing that it is not even missed. Yes, there were descriptions of the seaside and the road trip on holidays but they were so far in the back of my mind that they could have been at the bottom of the sea and it still would not have detracted from the artful portrayal of this boy’s tale.  I could seriously keep going about how amazing this novel is but all you need to know is that it will leave you a changed person. Especially if you have children yourself. It will make you question just what is real and gives an amazing insight into just what kindness can do when it is
put into the world.

~ Tasha Leigh, ARC Book Review

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