Ben Y and the Ghost in the Machine by K. A. Holt

Published by Chronicle Books

Ben Y and the Ghost in the Machine: The Kids Under the Stairs: Holt, K.A.:  9781452183213: Amazon.com: Books
Ben Y and the Ghost in the Machine: The Kids Under the Stairs: Holt, K.A.:  9781452183213: Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  In this sequel to Ben Bee and the Teacher Griefer, Ben Y takes center stage as they deal with a brother’s death, uncertainty about gender, and a nasty vice principal who insists on enforcing a draconian dress code.  Ben’s refuge is the library where the group that became friends in book 1 gets together for the official purpose of creating a student newspaper but really to play Sandbox, a Minecraft-style game invented by Ben’s brother.  Ben frequently looks back on archived chats between them and their brother, and one day, their brother responds.  Is it a ghost, or has someone hacked into the account?  The answer proves difficult and brings up a lot of emotions, but Ben is fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family members who can offer much-needed support.  432 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  I feel like K. A. Holt should be better-known, as I have had a fair amount of success book-talking her books to middle school kids.  Her novel-in-verse format, combined here with chats and the occasional drawing makes for a quick read, and many readers will sympathize with the struggles of the middle school characters.

Cons:  As some interesting revelations were made about Mr. Mann, the evil assistant principal, I was hoping to see him have more of a change of heart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s