The Lords of Melody (Phillip Gwynne, Puffin)
Suzi Lord lives on a street full of mansions in an old weatherboard house bought by her ex-rock star parents while they were at the height of their fame with a #1 hit in Finland. Her older sister Janis is perpetually embarrassed about their financial state and is desperate to go on a school trip to France. Being the ‘boss’ of the family, Janis decides to rent out their spare room on ZedBedz (a type of Airbnb). The problem is, the room is haunted by a rude and grumpy ghost, Pigpen—the former drummer in her parents’ band Crimson Viper—and now that he’s been kicked out, he’s taken it upon himself to haunt Suzi’s tablet, giving her unwanted advice and meddling in her life. The Lords of Melody has a very old-school Australian feel to it, in both the language used and in the well-meaning but slightly ignorant way members of the family react when confronted with different Asian cultures—Janis in particular is too busy worrying about her own life to remember people’s names properly. Thankfully Suzi is usually there to correct her family when they misstep. Awkwardness aside, the Lord family are big-hearted, daggy musicians, as dysfunctional as any real-life family. Great for fans of real life stories with a touch of the silly, The Lords of Melody is like the classic film The Castle, but for 10-year-olds.
Dani Solomon is the assistant manager of Readings Kids