January 13, 2017

Ghosts by @goraina #BookReview

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister's sake - and her own.

Raina Telgemeier is the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award–winning creator of Smile and Sisters, which are both graphic memoirs based on her childhood. She is also the creator of Drama, which was named a Stonewall Honor Book and was selected for YALSA’s Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens. Raina lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. To learn more, visit her online at www.goRaina.com.

This graphic novel really struck a chord with me. While they call the city Bahia de la Luna they might as well have said "Crecent City" because the town is almost the same, down to a tea. Fog cloaked, tiny, and with an air of abandonment and magic the child main character, Cat, navigates this strange city while negotiating emotional, cultural, and magical issues. This novel deals with some serious issues, one of which is the illness of Cat's sister, Maya.

This novel had a bit of a slower start than I had expected and also addressed issues I didn't expect. There were some rich cultural references to Hispanic (specifically Mexican) and it also dealt with the death in an interesting way, both with the "ghosts" in the town and also Maya's plight with cystic fibrosis. I think there were many "hints" in as to what will happen to Maya but I did like that, while they dealt with Cat's feelings on the issue, they didn't expressly state what happens to Maya in the book.

I recommend this novel, though I would make sure your child is ready for the issues it deals with in the storyline. I would also encourage readers (or their parents) to stick it out, it does get going after a slow start. And for those middle grade parents who are reading this: There is no swearing, sexual content, or substance use.

Book in a Pinch

Lovely, cultural rich book that deals with teen issues of death, displacement, and emotional growth.

Go Into This One Knowing

It's a little slow to start but it's worth the read. While it deals with important issues it does not contain anything inappropriate for a 10-12yo.

"All opinions are 100% honest and my own." 

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