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Monday, 1 April 2013

Undead Pet Series by Sam Hay

Revenge of the Phantom Furball - Undead Pets Bk. 2Goldfish from Beyond the Grave - Undead Pets 4Return of the Hungry Hamster - Undead Pets Bk. 1

When Joe Edmunds makes a wish on an Egyptian amulet, little does he know that he has volunteered to guide and defend the undead pet inhabitants of his town! Dumpling the hamster came to a dusty end inside a vacuum cleaner ...but he suspects that his owner Oliver's parents never admitted to their son that they were to blame for Dumpling's demise. Now the hamster needs Joe's help to reveal the truth - but there's a furry surprise awaiting them at Oliver's house.. (Synopsis of Book 1)

When I saw the synopsis for these books I was unsure about them - I know that my children have gone through that phase of talking about death and I wasn't sure if I wanted to encourage any more of those conversations. However, when I had read these I was pleasantly surprised. Although the books feature a character who is dead, it is not a big part of the story.

Joe has a strange power - when a pet dies in suspicious circumstances, they contact Joe, who sorts out their 'unfinished business' before they rest in peace. I think that these books will be a hit with children aged 7+, those with an inquisitive mind who enjoy finding the answer to their questions. In 'Goldfish from beyond the grave', Fizz needs to know who it was who killed him. Was he eaten by one of the other fish in the tank or did something else happen? Only Joe can find the answer to these questions and until he does, he will keep meeting these undead pets.

It is a good series and it is not necessary to read these books in order as there is a useful 'The story so far' in each book. It would be perfect for children aged 7 years+ who are happy reading chapter books on their own, independently. I think they will attract boys rather than girls but are suitable for either.

The books are accompanied by a website: where readers can meet the characters and play games.

Thank you to the publishers, Stripes Publishing, for sending me the books to review.

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