Saturday, March 20, 2010

Book Review: The Ghost, the Eggheads, and Babe Ruth's Piano by Larry Sweitzer

*Review copy provided by author*
The Ghost, the Eggheads, and Babe Ruth's Piano appear to having nothing in common, until Freddie Holtzman heads to his summer camp for gifted teens.  Camp Mason is full of surprises and opportunities for Freddie this year.  He wants to hook up with Ginny, who he kissed last year, he wants to win the scholarship for his project beating out his rival Tony, and he wants to find out once and for all if Billy Mason really does haunt the camp.  With the help of friends and the dead famous baseball player, Freddie just might manage to accomplish at least one of these goals.

The Ghost, the Eggheads, and Babe Ruth's Piano: A Novel

Things I Liked:
I thought the story was pretty fun.  There were some really humorous parts that I enjoyed - reminding me of what public embarrassment meant back in junior high and high school.  Near the end, I also became interested in the mysteries involving missing projects and Billy Mason's death.  There were a few surprises and some interesting unexpected conclusions. 

Things I Didn't Like:
The teens in the book did not feel very real to me.  The tone of the book was a bit young for kids between their junior and senior year of high school.  They just didn't act much like kids that age - playing truth or dare seems a little more junior high to me (and Freddie's use of the word egghead was a bit ridiculous).  The ending was very neatly wrapped up with Freddie, despite not getting everything he wanted right away, eventually getting it all.  No one was angry at anyone else for the things they did.  It was a little too clean and also felt rushed at the end to resolve everything.  But,
I think this book will appeal to younger reluctant reader boys, particularly those who like baseball.

Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta
The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: X
a few minor incidents

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ***

Got any embarrassing junior/senior high school moments (that you are willing) to share?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Who doesn't have any embarrassing school moments to share? Well, this one time in Jr. High I was pretty embarrassed to be wearing the same outfit as one of my teachers. Apparently it was the hot thing at Maurices for the season.

    Another bad moment was in 7th grade when I tripped up the stairs and dropped my books that subsequently fell on a 9th grader's head. Too bad I had to go back to retrieve those books, or I would have made a run for it.

    The worst one though was in Math class in 9th grade. I didn't do so well in that class, but this particular day I actually got the new concept. So when the smart kid in class asked to go over it again I blurted out, "Why are you taking this class?" Then the teacher made some comment on how he was one of the smartest kids and I think she was trying to point out I was on the opposite end of the spectrum. Yeah, I felt very dumb at that moment. It didn't help that a boy that I liked teased me about it the rest of the school year.

    I guess nothing in High School topped those moments. Jr. High is just awkward.

  2. Amy, there is something about the awkward junior high years that definitely lends itself to embarrassing moments. Mine involved spitting gum onto the face of a boy I liked. Yeah. Classy.


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