Its larger format makes this book seem meatier than the other Matt Christopher books, which could be a plus for a reader who wants to look like he/she can handle the heft of a “harder” book. But it’s standard Matt Christopher fare. Christopher is able to evoke the emotional territories of his young sports enthusiasts and his main character Brett is no exception. The question of the “haunted” skateboard remains open at the end of the book, providing fodder for a good discussion about confidence, mastery, and magic. 4/5
Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, 2010-2011
Brett is an avid skateboarder. He has been practicing new and more complicated moves in the hopes of outdoing his rival Kyle at an upcoming skateboard competition. Brett is elated when the construction workers building a garage on their property discover a box buried in the ground that contains a skateboard. Brett tries the board out and suddenly he can do tricks he had previously only dreamed about performing. But is there something sinister about this board? Brett finds out that it had belonged to a master boarder who had been killed in an accident. Also, Brett’s personality is changing the longer he uses the board. His friends no longer want to associate with him. Something is wrong, but Brett is so excited about using the board that he ignores all the signs. Will he come to his senses in time? A fast-paced sports story for young readers. Part of “The New Matt Christopher Sports Library” series.
Brett Thyson discovers a skateboard mysteriously buried in his yard and becomes obsessed with it and with being the best in town. Skateboard enthusiasts will enjoy the story and the ample use of skateboard lingo. Typical Christopher characterization and story line. Category: Fiction. 1991, Little, 162pp.. Ages 9 to 12. Rating: 4: Recommended, with minor flaws.
Horn Book (The Horn Book Guide)
Brett Thyson finds a skateboard buried in his new yard and suddenly can perform tricks with it that he's never even seen, much less tried. He learns that it belonged to Lance Hawker, a nationally known skateboarder who died in an accident. A friend warns Brett against riding it, but how can he stop before he's proved that he's a better skater than sneering neighbor Kyle Robinson? Christopher fluidly works his usual themes of sharp rivalry defused and personal problems handled, tied together here with an ambiguous fantasy element plus plenty of sports action and information. Four b&w illustrations capture the main characters' personalities.
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews)
Matt Christopher remains the "go to" series for sports novels. This novel is part of the "new" Matt Christopher sports library. Brett uncovers a skateboard buried in his backyard. He can do amazing tricks on this board he calls "The Lizard". Brett has never had these skills before, so is "The Lizard" haunted? The mere mention of ghosts and haunted skateboards is enough to garner the interest of chapter book readers.
Book Buzz, December 2009