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Children's LiteratureAny book with R. L. Stine's name on it is guaranteed to sell, which perhaps explains this forgettable story, the slim sixth title in Stine's "Mostly Ghostly" series. While not as gory as some of the books in his more famous "Fear Street" or "Goosebumps" series, this tale is not terribly scary, either. It is the depressing story of Max, whose efforts to entertain his classmates at an embarrassing birthday party backfire spectacularly. Max's ghostly friends Nicky and Tara—continuing characters in the "Mostly Ghostly" saga—are peripheral to this tale. That is a shame, because Max cannot carry the book on his own without some uncomfortable and unconvincing plot twists. Even with plenty of humor and a certain amount of suspense, the least discriminating young reader should be disappointed by the slapdash resolution of this story. However, to keep those young readers coming back for more, the opening chapter from the next title in the series is included as a teaser at the end of the book. 2005, Delacorte/Random House, Ages 7 to 10.