Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts by Katie & Kevin Tsang

by Katie & Kevin Tsang
Illustrated by Nathan Reed
Sterling Children Books
Middle Grade Humor
240 pages
ages 7 to 12

Brilliantly funny new series about the bravest scaredy-cat in the world

Sam Wu is NOT a scaredy-cat (except he is). When a trip to the Space Museum goes terrifyingly wrong, Sam begins a mission to prove to the school bully, and all of his friends, that he is a fearless space adventurer. A truly laugh-out-loud, voice-led and madcap story of ghost hunting, snakes and mischievous pet cats called Butterbutt, perfect for fans of Tom Gates, Wilf the Mighty Worrier and Barry Loser, and readers aged six plus.


Ghostly silliness mixes with middle school adventure to make an exciting read which even reluctant readers are sure to enjoy.

Sam Wu knows what he likes and sticks to it—even when it means wearing his self-made Space Blasters outfit to the space museum when nobody else has heard of his favorite show. When a dare ends up in the most terrible way ever, Sam Wu is deemed as a scaredy-cat. Which he's not, and he's determined to prove it no matter what ghosts or man-eating snakes get in his way.

Just a flip through this book promises it's going to be a fun, quirky and never boring read. At 240 pages, it might sound a little longer, but the oodles and bounds of illustrations and artfully impressions in the text keep the word count light. This is a book which lives not only from the story, but the emotions and humor from the scribbles and illustrations. It's a great mix.

Sam Wu sticks out from the rest of his class. He loves a show no one else has heard about and has strange favorite foods. His little sister is pesky but at the same time, a great friend. This sibling portrayal hits spot-on and is fun to follow. But Sam has more friends. His parents have his back in as much as parents can. Plus, he has two good friends who stick with him even when they don't always agree with everything or unsure. In other words, Sam is a very normal kid.

Sam's adventures to prove he isn't a scaredy-cat are funny and take unexpected twists and turns. The ghosts are a sneaky turn, which adds a whole new level of adventure. But none of it ever leaves the realm of reality. Sam does learn his lesson. Somewhat. But mostly he discovers that he's not the only one who is afraid of something. The trick is in dealing with these fears.

This is a great read for kids ages 8 to 12 who enjoy a lot of fun in their reads. Especially reluctant readers will enjoy the wonderful amount of illustrations and see some of themselves in Sam Wu.

And here they are...

Katie and Kevin Tsang met while studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts is their first joint novel, and the second book int eh series, Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks, is coming in March 2019. Some of Sam Wu's experiences are based on Kevins' Childhood. He works as a healthcare technology consultant. Katie writes YA as Katherine Webber. Katie and Kevin live in London and are available of interview.

Visit Katie at . Follow her on Twitter at @kwebberwrites and on Instagram at @kwebberwanders. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevtsang and on Instagram at @kevgtsang.

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