Author: Tracy Badua

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Freddie is cursed. It’s a family inheritance. Anytime he tries to do anything, his bad luck screws him up somehow. He’s “Faceplant Freddie,” infamous since second grade for constantly tripping, knocking things (and people) over, and for being the biggest klutz ever.

When Freddie finds an anting-anting in his garage and accidentally activates it, the Filipino good luck charm turns out to be quite the opposite. The old charm comes together with a ghost of his great uncle Ramon, the very one who’d brought the family curse upon them. With limited time to spare, and with the curse growing more lethal each day, Freddie, his cousin Sharkie, and Ramon must do all they can to break the curse and save them all.

Freddie’s lived in fear of his curse all his life, unlike his neighbor/best friend/cousin, Sharkie, who is an awesome dancer and a very popular girl. Freddie has always been too scared to try anything new, but with everything going on, Freddie comes to realize that maybe not all the bad things in life are the curse’s fault. After all, his family is able to get by with their jobs and their lives, even with all the bad that comes their way. Maybe he does need to take some small risks in life in order to succeed.

Sharkie and Freddie made a great team despite their differences. It was nice to read a boy-girl friendship without any romantic complications. And as bad as Freddie’s curse was, the author managed to turn most of them into humorous moments for the reader. The mix of urgency, curses, Filipino-American culture, humor, and teamwork made this a fantastic read for middle grade and older readers

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