Friday, December 2, 2016
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Genre: Graphic novel, Paranormal, family, illness, middle grade
Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is my first Raina Telgemeier book! My students have been reading Smile, Sisters, and Drama for a few years and they insisted that I read this one. In it, Cat's family has just moved to Northern California due to her sister's illness. Maya has cystic fibrosis, which affects her lungs and makes it difficult to breathe as her lungs slowly degenerate. Their move is supposed to help Maya breathe easier and have a fuller life. Cat isn't happy about the move, even though she loves her sister. Upon arriving, they're introduced to the town's infatuation with Dia' de los Muertos and the celebration they throw to invite the ghosts back. Cat is terrified, especially when an adventure to find the ghosts in early September leaves Maya in the hospital. Maya, though, is as infatuated with the ghosts as they seem to be with her, even as Cat tries desperately to keep them all away.
I liked the idea that both Cat and Maya are coming to terms with the fact that Maya will die. Cystic Fibrosis is a terminal illness and it means that Maya 's lung don't get better, they continue to get worse. Maya is a little girl and she wants to talk with the ghosts so she can understand what will be coming for her in the future. Cat wants them to stay away because she knows she can't protect her sister from death, try as she might. Don't worry--this book ends on a happy note and the only death is the visiting ghosts on Dia' de los Muertos.