Johnny and the Dead (1993) by Terry Pratchett, read by Richard Mitchley, is the second book in the Johnny Maxwell series after Only You Can Save Mankind. There's a lot of trademark Pratchett humor in this Halloween book for kids.
Genre: children's paranormal
Audio publisher: Random House Audio GO, 2007
From: Library OverDrive
Recap: Johnny has returned from space and can now hear ghosts. But the cemetery is to be sold for development. Can Johnny and the ghosts stop the bulldozers?
Review: I love Halloween. It's my favorite holiday, so this second book in the Johnny Maxwell series hits my sweet spot. Terry Pratchett is a comedy master, and Johnny and the Dead has some really funny parts. The writing has tightened up a bit from Only You Can Save Mankind. The plot is smoother and the laughs louder. Luckily, Johnny and the Dead can stand on its own.
Johnny and his friends are the best part of these books. They're well developed and play off of one another with expert timing. I was disappointed the female friend from the first book isn't around, but Wobbler, Yo-less and BigMac hold their own. Published in 1993, a few of the references have become dated, but in all the book holds up surprisingly well.
Reading: Richard Mitchley is an amazing reader. His enjoyment just bursts out, and he does great sound effects, especially static. My Britishism dictionary was added to with the pronunciation of the word "mall." It rimes with "pal."
Final Thoughts: A fun ghost story for younger readers.
Grade: 4 out of 5
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