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  Grade 7 Reviews
  Ghost Medicine by Andrew Smith

Review by: Micaela P.
Wisconsin, Grade 7

If one of you dies, then does some part of us die with them? In the story Ghost Medicine by Andrew Smith, he tells the story of three young childhood friends that together have to make it through the life of where everything is a threat. Smithís way of writing is very unique. When you first begin to read the story its very confusing because you have no idea whatís going on. In some ways it was kinda random. If you actually take the time to think about it, the things that he writes arenít pointless theyíre meant for something later in the story. At times I disliked how he was so in tuned with the characters that it feels like he explains more things that donít fit in at the time. My first impression was that he was going to be way too detailed and I donít really like authors that do that. For example, ďI believe that things happen for a reason, but I do not believe, like most people I know, that those reasons are conscious and directed. There might be a God, but if there is, I know He in not benevolent; He is, at best, ambivalent to all of the things set in motion in this world.Ē Itís a very inspirational quote but for me there couldíve been a shorter way to put it. His writing is excellent, but in some parts you really have to think more about what heís saying then just have it said for you. Thatís what I like; it makes you think about it for awhile instead of just saying it.

The story takes place out in the west, the perfect place for horses and killers. Smithís detailed paragraphs explain just how it is there. It helps to know background knowledge of the west and how itís kind of like country life. To imagine miles and miles of green grass with few houses and dirt roads that stretch on and on is pretty easy. He takes it a step farther and details it in the most simplest of words that yet mix with your imagination and create this life of where the characters live. Troy Stotts, Tommy Buller, and Gabe Benavidez are what you would call the mix-match of a group. When Smith first introduces Tommy, you can tell write away the Tommy lives the care-free life of a 16 year old. Heís strong in both physical and emotionally and could beat someone up just by looking them in the eye. Troy, the main character, is a young boy who lost his mother the year he turned 16. He is very caring for all of his friends, including his sweet spot for Luz, Gabeís older sister. Yet he never thinks, instead of just doing it which gets him in trouble. His friends call him Stotts for his nickname and his name is known to everyone throughout the book. Gabe stars out as this skittish little boy that doesnít know any better. His leaders are Tommy and Troy and throughout the book he changes into something more than a leader. Smith made these characters very believable and the detail he uses is excellent. You get so attached to them that itís like there your new big brothers. The characters definitely make this believe more than anything else in the book and thatís what I like about it. The mischievousness of the boys gets them into trouble, and if you read it, youíll find out how each of them ends up by the intense ending of Ghost Medicine.

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