Ghosts

Publisher: Scholastic

Cat is moving with her family to a new town in Northern California where the colder, wetter climate will be better for her sister Maya’s cystic fibrosis. She’s not overjoyed about leaving her life and friends behind for a new, dark house in a chilly environment – but what choice does she have?

When the family start to explore Bahia de la Luna, they discover that their new town takes the annual Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations pretty seriously. In fact, lots of people believe in ghosts, who, they say, are attracted to Bahia de la Luna because of the fog. Cat is skeptical until Maya persuades her to believe – and the Day of the Dead celebrations end up being strangely life-affirming for everyone.

Fans of the Disney film Coco will love Ghosts, as will any existing Year 5/6 or tween graphic novel or comic readers (particularly anyone who loves graphic novels by Terri Libenson, Truly Tyler or Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl.

Maya’s cystic fibrosis is represented with clarity and sensitivity in a good amount of detail, for instance showing Maya using her vibrating breathing vest and night time nutrient drip. Telgemeier addresses the worry connected to a family member with cystic fibrosis sensitively and honestly (with an additional note at the back of the book about the condition), but extrovert Maya is the one who encourages introvert Cat to be more confident and enjoy life in the moment.

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