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Zero to Hero (Ghost Buddy Series #1)

Zero to Hero (Ghost Buddy Series #1)

3.9 16
by Lin Oliver, Henry Winkler

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A hilarious new series from Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver, authors of the bestselling HANK ZIPZER books! Billy Broccoli is new to the neighborhood, and wants cool friends and a spot on the baseball team more than anything. But the one thing he never wanted is his own personal ghost. So imagine his surprise when he ends up sharing a room with Hoover Porterhouse, a funny


A hilarious new series from Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver, authors of the bestselling HANK ZIPZER books! Billy Broccoli is new to the neighborhood, and wants cool friends and a spot on the baseball team more than anything. But the one thing he never wanted is his own personal ghost. So imagine his surprise when he ends up sharing a room with Hoover Porterhouse, a funny ghost with a whole lot of attitude. When an obnoxious school bully sets out to demolish Billy, the Hoove comes up with a plan for revenge. It’s all in the Hoove’s Rule Number Forty-Two: Stay cool. And like it or not, Billy and the Hoove have to stick together if Billy ever wants to get in style, get even, and conquer the school.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
Moving is not something Billy Broccoli wants to do and the new house is not his idea of a fun place. So Billy flatly refuses to get out of the car once his family pulls up to their new house. However, as Billy sits in the car, Rod Brownstone, the bully from nextdoor, makes an appearance and Billy decides to get out. Billy has a new house to deal with and an unlikeable neighbor. It could not get worse, or could it? Billy discovers his room in the house is purple and it has a teenage ghost—who wants to make Billy a special project. The ghost, Hoover Porterhouse, has been having some difficulty passing his "ghost" lessons and higher up authorities, let Hoover know that he needs to help someone if he is to pass his lessons. With Billy selected Hoover sets out to help him. However, through various incidents, Hoover promptly manages to make Billy's life miserable. Fortunately, that changes as the tale continues and Hoover actually helps Billy make friends in his new middle school. Characters are well-drawn and readers will identify with many of the scenarios introduced. Witty humor abounds and carries this story at a good pace. In addition, it is apparent that Buddy and Hoover will turn up in sequels that promise to be as much fun as other books by Winkler and Oliver. For a fun read, this book hits the mark and will appeal to boys and girls alike. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Eleven-year-old Billy Broccoli's name is only the start of his problems in the coolness department. He's also plagued by a fondness for T-shirts with fart jokes on them, and he has the grace of a clown with two left feet. Now he is starting at a new school, and his supreme dorkiness is sure to cause him trouble. Fortunately, he has an ally: the ghost of 12-year-old Hoover Porterhouse III, who is stuck haunting the house that Billy's family has just moved into. Hoover is the sultan of cool and coaches Billy on what to wear and how to act. Despite his best efforts, though, the boy's first days of school are disastrous, mostly due to a bully named Rod Brownstone. Hoover calls for revenge, but in the end Billy manages to stand up to Rod. Billy is still nerdy at the story's conclusion, but it looks as though Hoover will be sticking around, which means that there may be hope for him yet. This title is chock-full of nuggets that will have boys cheering, from the grossness of Billy's embalmed tonsil to the hilarity of Rod's attachment to his baby blanket. What's more, parents and educators will cheer when Billy stands up to Rod without resorting to bullying tactics. Readers may wonder how Hoover died, but hopefully the authors will reveal more about the sassy apparition as the series progresses.—Amy Holland, Irondequoit Public Library, NY
Publishers Weekly
Hank Zipzer collaborators Winkler and Oliver launch the Ghost Buddy series, introducing an endearingly uncool hero with the dorky name of Billy Broccoli. Despite his acute clumsiness and preference for wearing fart-themed T-shirts, Billy is articulate, witty, and good-hearted. None of which, unfortunately, will win him popularity in his new middle school, especially since his mother is the principal. This new series would fall clearly into the genre of silly realistic fiction were it not for the presence of a 113-year-old ghost, Hoover Porterhouse, into whose room Billy has just moved, and who undertakes the task of turning Billy into a hip and agile 11-year-old. After Billy’s initial fright, he accepts the ghost’s company and guidance while Hoover, forever age 14, struggles with his own ghostly goals. An amusing cast of broadly drawn secondary characters play their expected roles—snobby older half-sister, embarrassing mother and stepfather, pretty and kind classmate, and neighborhood bully with an embarrassing secret. Readers will root for Billy to conquer his klutziness as well as the bully; his final feel-good triumph is satisfying. Ages 8–12. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Eleven-year-old Billy Broccoli's move up to middle school is complicated by a teenage ghost determined to give him lessons in how to be cool. The nerdy lad already has a lot on his plate: new house (with a bedroom done up in pink and lavender), new stepfather and prickly older stepsister, new school whose principal is his mother and nosy, bullying schoolmate Rod Brownstone for a next-door neighbor. It is understandable, then, that he's only temporarily freaked out when hyperconfident former jock Hoover "The Hoove" Porterhouse III, a ghost killed 99 years ago, swims into view and grandly announces that Billy is his special project. It seems that the Hoove has just one more year to pull up his failing celestial grades in "Responsibility" and "Helping Others" or be tied to that house and surrounding property forever--a fate worse than, well…. As it happens, the schooling goes both ways, and by the end not only has Billy been guided away from wearing fart-joke T-shirts and taking tuna sandwiches for lunch, he's shown the Hoove a better way to get Brownstone off his case than responding in kind when the bully engineers a public humiliation. A purposeful but not simplistic opener from the creators of the Hank Zipzer series. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Ghost Buddy Series , #1
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

HENRY WINKLER is admired by audiences of all ages for his roles as the Fonz on the long-running series, Happy Days, and in such films as Holes and The Waterboy. He is also an award-winning producer and director of family and children's programming, and the author (with Lin Oliver) of the critically-acclaimed Hank Zipzer series. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Lin Oliver is a television producer and writer and the Executive Director of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She coauthored (with Henry Winkler) the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling middle-grade series HANK ZIPZER: THE WORLD'S GREATEST UNDERACHIEVER, and wrote the series WHO SHRUNK DANIEL FUNK? Lin resides in Los Angeles, California.

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Zero to Hero (The Ghost with the Most Series #1) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
IanWood More than 1 year ago
Billy Broccoli has moved to a new home with his mom, which they're sharing with her new husband and his daughter. No word on what happened to his original dad. Billy is facing a new school and is missing his old friends (although why he can't visit them isn't explained), but he's not expecting that his new home is haunted by a ghost named Hoover. I know this novel, the first in a series, is not aimed at my age group, but I found it to be far too black and white and simplistic to be even mildly entertaining, and Henry Winkler's reading of it left something to be desired. Maybe younger kids will like this because it seemed to me that it was pitched too low for middle grade. Cliche abounded and it was boring and predictable. Things were too disastrous to begin with, the pain-in-the-patoot neighbor kid was a ridiculous caricature (I can't imagine any cops even responding to a kid who calls them and reports a car being parked one inch over the no parking area, much less the cops having the car towed for that). Billy does show some maturity in how he handles his revenge on this neighbor, but there was too much bullying and threats. It's stories like these which put a young kid's foot onto that dreary road to reality TV, sports is everything, and frat parties. if that's what you want for your kids, then have at it. I'd prefer something which has the guts to take the road less traveled instead of the lowest common denominator. I'd like to see some moral ambiguity, some gray areas, and some thought-provoking options which seem to me to be more age appropriate for the audience this book is aimed at. An approach like that that would have made for a much better story and a better educational experience for kids. It's not like Winkler (or Oliver for that matter) is an unknown who doesn't have the mojo to ease a series like that through a publisher's door. Why would he need to take the easy way out as though he's some unknown children's book writing wannabe? For that matter, was the publisher so star-struck that they didn't want to look too closely at this? Whatever. I can't recommend this one. Winkler is dyslexic and I think he could have turned out better work than this on that and other such topics. This review first appeared on Ian Wood's Noivellum
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it so much!!! I can't wait for the next one to come out!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book l love this book is for3-5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im not sure if i should buy this book before #2...i already own #2...do i need to read number obe for it to me sense or no??? SOMEONE TELL MEEEEE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have this book as a hardcover and I dont want it to be messed up. This book is awsome and funny! I love it and I hope lots of kids out there too! An I love all of thise kid that were in the sandyhook killing progress! Put pease in love. Put pease in love. Why does this happen?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You sould read this book decause the authors wrote many other books.