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Ghosts

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Ghosts

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cristina Monica

    Every time Raina Telgemeier releases a new graphic novel, I get super excited. Her stories are so heartfelt and honest. ‘‘Ghosts,’’ however, is a little different from her previous works. For starters, it isn’t as realistic, which I think is its main weakness. It definitely is the reason why I couldn’t give it a 5-star-rating. I loved the culture in it, especially the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) which I’ve always found quite interesting and spectacularly unique. It’s definitely the author Every time Raina Telgemeier releases a new graphic novel, I get super excited. Her stories are so heartfelt and honest. ‘‘Ghosts,’’ however, is a little different from her previous works. For starters, it isn’t as realistic, which I think is its main weakness. It definitely is the reason why I couldn’t give it a 5-star-rating. I loved the culture in it, especially the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) which I’ve always found quite interesting and spectacularly unique. It’s definitely the author’s most diverse book to date. However much I enjoyed the Día de los Muertos elements and scenes, though, I found that the addition of actual ghosts who interact with people took away from the realisticity of the story. But it’s pretty charming and moving nonetheless. Cat’s sister Maya has cystic fibrosis, which is why they had to move to Bahía de la Luna, where fog is ever-present in the air. The right place to find ghosts, if one wishes to. Cat and Maya’s relationship is extremely heart-warming and honest. They truly care for one another and not only because they both know they’re not going to be sisters for ever. Plus Maya, although she is very sick, keeps her smiles on at all times; I found her to be tremendously brave. The themes explored make this a memorable graphic novel I think anyone looking for an original and atmospheric story should read. And it’s so masterfully illustrated you’ll want to keep it for ever. I sure as hell will treasure this copy. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  2. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Anytime I see a book that has something to do with ghosts, I wonder if the author is going to be contributing to the too-high-pile of problematic books with characters who are haunted or inspired by the ghost of a Native character. One example (there are many) is Susan Cooper's Ghost Hawk. I think Telgemeier's Ghosts is one of those problematic books, but I don't think that Telgemeier is aware that she's doing that same thing. The story she tells, and the reviews of her story, demonstrate (yet a Anytime I see a book that has something to do with ghosts, I wonder if the author is going to be contributing to the too-high-pile of problematic books with characters who are haunted or inspired by the ghost of a Native character. One example (there are many) is Susan Cooper's Ghost Hawk. I think Telgemeier's Ghosts is one of those problematic books, but I don't think that Telgemeier is aware that she's doing that same thing. The story she tells, and the reviews of her story, demonstrate (yet again) an ignorance of history. I imagine some people defending the book by saying its audience isn't old enough for the complexity of that history, but that holds true only for a selected (possibly white) audience. Native children, and children of color, know far more history than one might expect, because history informs and shapes our daily lives, today. History, of course, informs the daily lives of White children, too, but in a way that means they're ignorant--and are taught ignorance--until they're deemed "ready" for that dark history. In the story, the children visit a mission where they see ghosts. At first Maya (the younger sister) is taken aback, but in the next panels, we see the ghost hug her, so she decides it is a friendly ghost. She says hi, but Carlos tells her that most of the people buried there were from Mexico, so, they like it when people speak Spanish to them. So, Maya calls out "Hola!" That visit to the mission is the point where--for me--the story really starts to unravel. The missions were there (obviously) for a specific reason: to turn Native peoples into Catholics and to claim that land for Spain. Some see missions and missionary work as a good, but if you pause for a minute and think about what they and that work is designed to do, and if you do a bit of reading, you'll learn that it was far from the benevolent character with which it is regarded by most of society. At the missions, life for Native people was brutal. There was rape. Enslavement. Whippings. Confinements. And of course, death. Analyses of the bones at the mission burial sites that compare them with bones found elsewhere show that the bones of those who died at the missions were stunted and smaller than the others. Some of Telgemeier's ghosts might have spoken Spanish, but it is far more likely that their first language was an Indigenous one. Did they joyfully want to be spoken to in Spanish, the language of their oppressors? Given the history, I think it is unlikely that these ghosts would be smiling as Telgemeier shows in her book. At my site, there's more information, and references to books that can help teachers, parents, librarians, learn about the missions. https://americanindiansinchildrenslit...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    This was the perfect heartfelt, quick, and light graphic novel to pick up after feeling emotionally exhausted by my first read of the year. 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 ar This was the perfect heartfelt, quick, and light graphic novel to pick up after feeling emotionally exhausted by my first read of the year. 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. First and foremost, I have to mention that my little sister is a huge fan of Raina Telgemeier’s work, particularly the graphic novel Sisters, so I can’t wait to share this one with her. The author excels once again at featuring that special bond created between sisters. Like, seeing Cat care and worry for her little sister Maya, who's born with cystic fibrosis which affects her breathing and digestion. Secondly, the color palette is refreshingly vibrant in Ghosts. And so were the aspects of the author being willing to explore happiness as much as she was willing to explore pain, grief, and unhappiness. Which then leads me to feature how utterly spellbinding and visually stunning the celebration scene was: Last but not least, this graphic novel made me feel excited to go and check out the Disney film Coco, also centered around Día de Muertos, as soon as possible. Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Ghosts, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission! Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with http://Ko-fi.com/bookspoils

  4. 5 out of 5

    Korrina (OwlCrate)

    Second book for booktubeathon complete! I looooved this one. I'm obsessed with ghosts and skeletons and Dia de Los Muertos so this story was right up my alley. But it also had a ton of heart packed into it as well. Definitely recommend it!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    Great Story! So much is rolled into this story making is a yummy layered cake. There is Halloween and the Day of the Dead celebration. There are ghosts, for sure, moving to a new town and cystic fibrosis. It makes for a good story. We follow the older sister mostly who has to look out for her younger sister and I have to say, she is a hard character to really relate too. She is like teflon, it's difficult to see through her skin (or eyes, or you get the idea.) The younger sister was easy to be dra Great Story! So much is rolled into this story making is a yummy layered cake. There is Halloween and the Day of the Dead celebration. There are ghosts, for sure, moving to a new town and cystic fibrosis. It makes for a good story. We follow the older sister mostly who has to look out for her younger sister and I have to say, she is a hard character to really relate too. She is like teflon, it's difficult to see through her skin (or eyes, or you get the idea.) The younger sister was easy to be drawn in the story by, but I felt the older sister didn't draw me in as much as a reader. I didn't really care about her. I love the artwork and the mood and tone that Raina sets up for the book. The town is cool and I like the ghost aspect to the story. My niece has read this story and she loved it. She has read all the Raina books but Drama. They are so wonderful for kids who need a little boost to get them reading on their own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    I always love finding 'hidden gems' like this GN. The relationship between sisters is told from a perspective of hope tinged with possible loss; the relationship with the ghosts of loved ones who return during Dia de los Muertos underlines the limited time we have with our loved ones...a lesson we need to remember every day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Telgemeier keeps getting better and better, and this is her best book so far. All of her work has been wildly popular and multiple-award-winning, in part because she is so irrepressibly happy and energetic, with so much joie de vivre to go around. Two were memoirs, Smiles and Sisters, and I thought they were great for pre-teens, all my kids loved them and have read them again and again. Drama started to deal just a tad more seriously with some social issues, but in Ghosts we see her most ambitio Telgemeier keeps getting better and better, and this is her best book so far. All of her work has been wildly popular and multiple-award-winning, in part because she is so irrepressibly happy and energetic, with so much joie de vivre to go around. Two were memoirs, Smiles and Sisters, and I thought they were great for pre-teens, all my kids loved them and have read them again and again. Drama started to deal just a tad more seriously with some social issues, but in Ghosts we see her most ambitious and--for me; I'll let you know about what the kids say--satisfying project so far. Cat, a tween, has to leave her friends to move to Bahia de Luna to help with the health of her breathing-challenged sister, Maya, who has cystic fibrosis. Bahia de Luna is inspired by foggy Half Moon Bay, coastal California, a place of magic, and her story is also in part inspired by Dia de los Muertos. The threat of death and ghosthood is ever-present for the super happy Maya. Knowing that people might die is a good thing, I suppose; the fact that Telgemeier has Cat confront her fears about death and the world of spirits adds depth to this story. And in this story ghosts--the spirits of the people we love that Dia de Los Muertos celebrates--are very present in this foggy town. A local boy introduces Maya and Cat to the ghosts and this gives Telgemeier a chance to draw ghosts (not that impressively) and a Day of the Dead celebration (depicted much more impressively, beautifully). She's a talented kid graphic novel writer and artist, with lots of life and color. Not that much depth yet, but it's coming. . . . Ghosts is a really lively, engaging tale, not heavy, celebrating family and tradition and acknowledging death as part of life. And Telgemeier seems to understand sisters, which is another plus. I liked it quite a bit.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Faythe

    I had some problems with some things. The family stuff was fine. The Mexican stuff and Dia de Los Muertos? Not accurate. At all. If troubles me that it's praised without fact checking and it's being praised so much.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    I bought this book for my daughter at the school book fair and when I handed it to her she screamed, jumped up and down, and disappeared with it into her room. She raved about it, told me she thought I'd love it, begged me to read it, brought it downstairs and put it in my book pile. Fast forward two months and I found it back in her room, carefully placed among her treasures. I get it. It's vibrant, honest and deals with the issues of disease and death in a non- threatening and dare I say, posi I bought this book for my daughter at the school book fair and when I handed it to her she screamed, jumped up and down, and disappeared with it into her room. She raved about it, told me she thought I'd love it, begged me to read it, brought it downstairs and put it in my book pile. Fast forward two months and I found it back in her room, carefully placed among her treasures. I get it. It's vibrant, honest and deals with the issues of disease and death in a non- threatening and dare I say, positive way. It is there but it doesn't feel like the main focus, which makes it seem more like part of life and also the introduction of Day of the Dead alights this with celebration. There are many topics woven throughout this story. But, as the author said in her notes: At the end of the day, love transcends life and death. What a wonderful, always timely message. 4 stars **I grew up in a Portuguese family where death was a constant topic. Who was sick, died, was dying. I truly believe I am scarred for life from this merry-go-round of bad news and what I perceived as a child as very impending death. I work daily to ensure my children are less afraid/worried/anxious/terrified than I was/am that every breath is their last.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Reading this in my own world, I would give it 5 stars. The sister relationship is spot-on, as always ("attempted grab! successful dodge!"). Raina's facial expressions and comic timing are delightful. Braden Lamb's coloring is incredible. The use of the ghosts, as a terminally ill child and her family deal with death (and navigating family cultural heritage), seems inspired. Yet I'm listening to others' reactions to the use of Spanish missions, Spanish language, and Dia de los Muertos. These view Reading this in my own world, I would give it 5 stars. The sister relationship is spot-on, as always ("attempted grab! successful dodge!"). Raina's facial expressions and comic timing are delightful. Braden Lamb's coloring is incredible. The use of the ghosts, as a terminally ill child and her family deal with death (and navigating family cultural heritage), seems inspired. Yet I'm listening to others' reactions to the use of Spanish missions, Spanish language, and Dia de los Muertos. These views expand my own reading of the story. http://readingwhilewhite.blogspot.com... https://booktoss.wordpress.com/2016/0... https://americanindiansinchildrenslit...

  11. 5 out of 5

    sharon

    So, here is what I wrote to a friend who was interested in the accuracy of the portrayal of Cystic Fibrosis. So, if you are interested in that apect - here ya go! I have a daughter with CF and am pretty actively involved in the CF community: As for the CF stuff, it is definitely accurate, but it is quite rare today for a child of that age to have such advanced stage disease. Not that it never happens, but rare. Most cases that are considered severe would have children who still live pretty regul So, here is what I wrote to a friend who was interested in the accuracy of the portrayal of Cystic Fibrosis. So, if you are interested in that apect - here ya go! I have a daughter with CF and am pretty actively involved in the CF community: As for the CF stuff, it is definitely accurate, but it is quite rare today for a child of that age to have such advanced stage disease. Not that it never happens, but rare. Most cases that are considered severe would have children who still live pretty regular lives but are hospitalized every couple months for IV antibiotics and such (a "tune up"). Also, while there is some use in moving somewhere with salt water in the air, anyone with that severe of an illness would definitely want to be near a major cf center. Salt water is probably no help at that point, and why move to the middle of nowhere instead of to like, say, near the ocean in a major city with great health care! But....all that said, those are sort of nitpicky details probably and coming from a reader with too much knowledge. I am a little concerned, though, with the outdated portrayal of CF as a death sentence in youth. It is a serious illness, generally considered chronic, not fatal, for young people today. So, that's my critical review. Also, I really love the book. The layers and symbolism, the handling of complicated issues, the rediscovery of personal heritage ...all make this stand out. I am, though, reserving some judgement until I hear more from people of the culture she is writing about, since I am not an expert and can't judge if there is inaccuracy or offensiveness in her portrayal of Day of the Dead etc.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I have some really mixed feelings about how to review this book, so I'll start out with the positive and say that I really loved the relationship between Cat and Maya. The love and friendship the sisters shared felt very genuine. I also thought the fear and concern the characters had for Maya, who has cystic fibrosis, felt realistic too. Also, the illustrations were amazing. They were colorful and vibrant and you could feel the emotion jumping off the page. Now for the down side... After reading s I have some really mixed feelings about how to review this book, so I'll start out with the positive and say that I really loved the relationship between Cat and Maya. The love and friendship the sisters shared felt very genuine. I also thought the fear and concern the characters had for Maya, who has cystic fibrosis, felt realistic too. Also, the illustrations were amazing. They were colorful and vibrant and you could feel the emotion jumping off the page. Now for the down side... After reading several reviews, articles and blogs, I have been made aware that the book is not without it's faults. Particularly the accuracy of the celebration of dio de los muertos portrayed in this book and the mention of the missions without mentioning the dark history behind them. I don't want to dismiss this book completely. The author meant it as a story about "the power of family and friendship" and in this regard I think she was completely successful. But as an adult, I think it is my responsibility to teach kids the truth. So I think it would be best to read this book along with children and use it as a teachable moment. I think using this as a teachable moment will allow children to learn a couple different lessons: Number 1: Children will see that not everything they read in books is true or correct. Authors are people and people make mistakes, often times not intentionally. They will learn that it's important to draw from more than one source to get a more accurate view of a subject. Number 2: I think this could be an opportunity to teach children about the history of the missions. I think it is possible for children to be taught about the atrocities of the mission by using age appropriate terms that they will understand. Number 3: This would also be a good moment to teach children about other cultures, their celebrations and traditions. Number 4: This would also be a good tool to teach children how to compare and contrast. Show them how the celebration of dio de los muertos in this book compares with an authentic celebration. What did the author get right? What was different? This book is beautifully illustrated and the story interesting and I imagine many children will want to read it. That's why I think it is important to read it with them and have an open discussion about the issues with the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    This graphic novel deals with some profound and heavy topics and themes, from the paranormal to cystic fibrosis to moving away your school and friends. However, Ghosts is a beautiful and hopeful graphic novel from the author of Smile, one that teaches younger readers that even in the most dire situations there is always a bright side. This graphic novel deals with some profound and heavy topics and themes, from the paranormal to cystic fibrosis to moving away your school and friends. However, Ghosts is a beautiful and hopeful graphic novel from the author of Smile, one that teaches younger readers that even in the most dire situations there is always a bright side.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jan Philipzig

    I like Raina Telgemeier's fluid, spunky, unpretentious cartooning a lot, and it is beautifully matched here by a very timely story that is all about embracing the Other. You know, rather than "bombing the shit out of" it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    REVIEW OF THE KINDLE EDITION (and very nicely rendered as an e-book) To tell the truth, I first read Raina Telgemeier's 2016 graphic novel Ghosts earlier this year, but have not really until just now managed to figure out how to actually star rank Ghosts and what kind of a review I would be posting. Now I have certainly found both reading joy and exquisitely rendered pain within Raina Telegemeier's printed words (and I also aesthetically consider Telgemeier's accompanying artwork for Ghosts to b REVIEW OF THE KINDLE EDITION (and very nicely rendered as an e-book) To tell the truth, I first read Raina Telgemeier's 2016 graphic novel Ghosts earlier this year, but have not really until just now managed to figure out how to actually star rank Ghosts and what kind of a review I would be posting. Now I have certainly found both reading joy and exquisitely rendered pain within Raina Telegemeier's printed words (and I also aesthetically consider Telgemeier's accompanying artwork for Ghosts to be bright and imaginative but also at the same time still a realistic enough visual compliment to the latter, to her text) and with little Maya's increasingly losing battle with cystic fibrosis certainly bringing tears to my eyes but also feelings of immense pride with regard to how bravely and often with an engaging sense of humour Maya tries to deal with her affliction, and yes, with older sister Catrina's feelings of guilt that she rather often seems to feel impatient with and even at times resentful towards her little (and seriously ill) sister and that she is also majorly incensed at the family having had to move to a new area of California due to Maya's CF (with the hope that the more humid and foggy climate there will be better for her precarious health) both leaving me emotionally tenderhearted and full of sympathy but also sometimes and indeed rendering me quite livid and furious as well with regard to how Cat is often behaving annoyingly and acting horribly towards not only her family but really towards quite everyone in town (at least at the very beginning of Ghosts when the family first arrives). However, albeit that the family story as it is related in Ghosts (about a mother and father with a chronically and genetically ill young daughter and how this and the fact that there is no cure for cystic fibrosis is obviously affecting every family member and each in pretty different ways) has most definitely been a very much and absolutely lovely (even if also saddening) reading experience, if indeed this were the extent of Ghosts I would most likely be rating Raina Telgemeier's narrative (and her combination of text and images) with four to five stars. But yes and unfortunately, there also is a very strong and persistent supernatural element and component being featured and presented in Ghosts (including the rather strange and not really ever sufficiently enough for me explained factoid that all of the departed spirits talked about and celebrated in Ghosts during the Day of the Dead celebration are in fact supposed to be totally and absolutely real and that the Day of the Dead celebrations in Ghosts do therefore not only honour deceased ancestors but that these same ancestors actually do then make bona fide appearances and even physically interact with the celebrants, drinking with them, dancing with them, talking with them). And while I do not generally have issues reading ghost stories (if they are not too creepy, that is, and Ghosts has certainly not been all that creepy or frightening), I also do tend to find the entire concept of the departed spirits during the Day of the Dead festivities actually and totally being real entities both generally a bit personally uncomfortable and unbelievable and equally also rather tacked onto the main storyline of Ghosts and not really incorporated all that well and smoothly into Catrina and her family's personal story and their life and health based issues and problems with younger sister Maya's CF (rather suspended in space and feeling to me personally as though Raina Telgemeier has simply added the Day of the Dead and the ghostly appearances for shock value and for an interesting autumn celebration to be portrayed and shown, and in my humble opinion with the end result being that the entire Day of the Dead celebration parts and all of the explanations of ghosts and the like being potentially real kind of feeling and reading like a bit of an afterthought and perhaps even somewhat of an inadvertent caricature, not terrible of course, but in my opinion certainly pretty much more than somewhat diluting the tender and heartfelt family tale parts of Raina Telgemeier's text and thus really only making Ghosts but a three star story for me).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    Hard to rate. The writing can be beautiful, particularly in the interaction between the two sisters. But there are some serious issues with appropriation. Hard to rate. The writing can be beautiful, particularly in the interaction between the two sisters. But there are some serious issues with appropriation.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pinky

    What I did after reading this: I love Raina Telgemeier's graphic novels! I've read the Babysitter Club, Smile and Sisters. I loved all of those and when I saw this at the library, I was super excited to read it. It was a cute story that talks about an important issue. I love Maya and Cat, they are such loving sisters. I love how they look out for each other and care for each other. I feel like it would be better to jump right into this book without knowing much about it. At least, that's what I What I did after reading this: I love Raina Telgemeier's graphic novels! I've read the Babysitter Club, Smile and Sisters. I loved all of those and when I saw this at the library, I was super excited to read it. It was a cute story that talks about an important issue. I love Maya and Cat, they are such loving sisters. I love how they look out for each other and care for each other. I feel like it would be better to jump right into this book without knowing much about it. At least, that's what I did and I enjoyed it. I highly recommend this to everyone! I'll be off again!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    It was brought to my attention yesterday by my daughter that I had not read Ghosts! She loves Raina Telgmeier's books, and I usually keep up with her on these, but somehow I had missed that she had this one and had read it several times! It was, of course wonderful. I love her art, I loved the dialogue and the story, and the interaction between sisters. The plot was very unexpected, and I shall not go into details. Grab yourself a copy and read it, if you haven't already!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Reads Ravenously

    There's a reason Telgemeier is so successful, every single one of her books is relatable and delightful!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mariah Roze

    This was a really good graphic novel. I have read multiple other books by Raina and have enjoyed them all. I especially enjoyed the fantasy and Mexican cultures and traditions mixed in this story. I also loved how one of the main characters had cystic fibrosis and her treatment was covered in small, powerful ways in this book :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elle (ellexamines)

    2.5 stars. This is my least favorite Raina Telgemeier book to date. It's not particularly charming or funny, it's just kind of... okay. Ghosts doesn't have the realism of either Smile or Sisters, but it doesn't manage to reach the charming humor of Drama, either. There isn't much humor aside from brief moments. Unfortunately, this book doesn't hit hard emotionally either. The family relationships and characters here aren't developed enough, making this book ultimately unmemorable. Telegemeier's 2.5 stars. This is my least favorite Raina Telgemeier book to date. It's not particularly charming or funny, it's just kind of... okay. Ghosts doesn't have the realism of either Smile or Sisters, but it doesn't manage to reach the charming humor of Drama, either. There isn't much humor aside from brief moments. Unfortunately, this book doesn't hit hard emotionally either. The family relationships and characters here aren't developed enough, making this book ultimately unmemorable. Telegemeier's art is charming as always, and there's nothing to hate here. This book wasn't a bad reading experience for me by any means, and it's a short read, too. If you like Telgemeier, I'd try this one out! But ultimately, this book was a disappointment when compared to her other three books.

  22. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    That was precious and so sweet, but so sad. 😭 Maya's fears about what being a ghost will be like, and leaving her family behind, broke my heart; on top of that, Cat's endless anxiety over her sister's well-being is so touching. ♥

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    What an enjoyable read! A graphic novel that covers two topics I know little about, cystic fibrosis and Day of the Dead. I found this to be an able introduction to both subjects. And the story was quite entertaining. Maya is such a firecracker, even though she's saddled with CF, while her sister, Cat, seems to always play it safe. By the end of the book, Cat relaxes a bit and finds a way to enjoy life.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    This was my lunchtime reading treat, thanks to a box of ARCs from Scholastic! Well, you know this is going to be a surefire hit with kids (if your kids are as rabid for Telgemeier as mine are). I think this is actually my favorite of Raina's books so far. It's definitely poignant and atmospheric. I devoured it in one sitting and many young fans will, too.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    While this book isn't absolutely perfect, I do just adore it. I got this for my classroom to have more graphic novels available, and ones that were more about personal issues and growing up, and this didn't disappoint. Now I want to get more of Raina Telgemeier's books! What I loved about this book is that it handles multiple topics, while not in depth, with grace: physical disabilities and illnesses, family bonds, coming from a mixed ethnic background (AND EVEN BETTER, NOT ALWAYS HAVING A FIRM F While this book isn't absolutely perfect, I do just adore it. I got this for my classroom to have more graphic novels available, and ones that were more about personal issues and growing up, and this didn't disappoint. Now I want to get more of Raina Telgemeier's books! What I loved about this book is that it handles multiple topics, while not in depth, with grace: physical disabilities and illnesses, family bonds, coming from a mixed ethnic background (AND EVEN BETTER, NOT ALWAYS HAVING A FIRM FIT BETWEEN THE TWO!), learning who you are, and first crushes. Cat's relationship between her and her sister reminded me of me and my own sister. While my sister does not have cystic fibrosis, she does have a couple of physical ailments, and with the age gap between us, I have always been very protective of her, just like Cat is of Maya. The guilt of not always being ~a perfect sister~ while also dealing with the want and need to having something of your own was such a big tie for me. I also loved having Cat learn more about her mother's side of her family and cultural background. I wish they'd explore it more, but there wasn't enough room in the story, so that makes sense. But as a Latina whose mother did not pass on many cultural celebrations and habits (yet having everyone around you expect that you just know it all simply because you are categorized into that group) always just makes me nod my head a thousand times in understanding. While ethnicity, race, and belonging are topics that are being discussed more openly now, I do wish there was a larger conversation about people who don't fit neatly into "boxes" or categories and the struggle it is to find that balance. Can I also just HOLLAAAAAAA at this book's use of magical realism? I don't know what it is about Northern California lending itself to magical realism in YA books, but I am not against it! I am fairly certain that I'll Give You the Sun also takes place in NorCal and also plays with magical realism. I love that it gives teens a chance to explore a different genres that tend to normally reserved for adults. I'm very much looking forward to reading more books from this author and hope my students enjoy them as well. No dogs barking in the background, although, it really would have fit in. A black cat does skitter past them though!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Xandra (StarrySkyBooks)

    Today is my little sister’s birthday, and in honor of her, I decided to pick this one up because she loved Raina Telgemeier when she was younger. I read this graphic novel in abut 45 minutes, but it was absolutely fun, cute, and heart-filled. Maybe it’s because I love reading about sister relationships, or because I love reading about Latinx characters I can relate to, but I just really enjoyed this so much. I teared up a bit, several times, thinking about my relationship with my own sister. Lik Today is my little sister’s birthday, and in honor of her, I decided to pick this one up because she loved Raina Telgemeier when she was younger. I read this graphic novel in abut 45 minutes, but it was absolutely fun, cute, and heart-filled. Maybe it’s because I love reading about sister relationships, or because I love reading about Latinx characters I can relate to, but I just really enjoyed this so much. I teared up a bit, several times, thinking about my relationship with my own sister. Like Cat, I only want the best for my younger sister (although she’s 16 as of today), even though I make mistakes sometimes and don’t always show her my love. If you’re looking for a nice little spooky read today, I recommend this for you. 👻 💕

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    I love the complex way Telgemeier layered The Day of the Dead and ghosts and breathing and illness. Anyone who says graphic novels has no place in literacy needs to check this novel out! Fantastic!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dov Zeller

    Wow is this a tough book to review. It's trying to do a lot of things at once--to address illness, mortality, and painful family dynamics around illness, all while being upbeat, in a kid's (middle-grade-ish) graphic novel with romance and friendships and ghosts and ghost-related holidays. While I appreciate that this book looks directly at the painfulness of childhood illness and the proximity of death, and while I think the book's recognition of how much this kind of illness can put all kinds o Wow is this a tough book to review. It's trying to do a lot of things at once--to address illness, mortality, and painful family dynamics around illness, all while being upbeat, in a kid's (middle-grade-ish) graphic novel with romance and friendships and ghosts and ghost-related holidays. While I appreciate that this book looks directly at the painfulness of childhood illness and the proximity of death, and while I think the book's recognition of how much this kind of illness can put all kinds of stress on siblings, and while I'm super grateful that it brings awareness about CF into its pages, there are a few things I'm grappling with and not so sure of. 1) That the sick kid is always happy and bubbly and excited about life and the world. While I understand that she is just one character being represented (in other words, this book isn't saying 'all sick kids are happy' or 'all sick kids lovable only if they are happy and generous and un-selfish, etc.' there's something a little unsettling when a sick kid has to be happy in order to get the part. I mean, clearly there wasn't an actual audition, and perhaps Telgemeier has a particular person in mind as she writes this character, and maybe that person really is this bubbly all the time. And generous. And seemingly not at all pissed off and resentful about being sick. Well, it certainly does make life better to focus on gratitude and all that, and I couldn't help falling in love with Maya and her delightful enthusiasm. But I'm not sure she really got to be a complex person and I'm not sure this book gives a message that it is okay to be a sick person who isn't taking care of the people around her by being happy. If that makes sense. 2) The question of cultural appropriation. Well, this is a really complex issue and I don't know where I stand on it. Authors should be able to write about all sorts of things. If an author was only allowed to write about things that had to do with their personal lives and cultures, then where would fiction be? And where does one culture or cultural experience end and another begin? And where would we as thinkers be if we were asked to keep our imaginations to things that were somehow hereditary (?) or familial (?). I mean, it's absurd to tell authors to stick entirely to what they know, because truly, knowledge is not that refined, defined or linear. On the other hand, Dia De Los Muertos is a holiday that is often used for the purposes of entertainment in ways that are poorly considered, awkward and exploitative. And, well, there are power dynamics at play in terms of the authorial/material relationship that do need to be in some way addressed. Telgemeier's representation of the holiday is questionable at best, but she does represent a family for whom this holiday is theirs, and that is important. And the family's relationship to the holiday takes on some complexity. Moreover, this is a book meant for kids, and what is probably most important is how kids experience the book. It's great that Telgemeier works to represent people whose worlds are underrepresented in comics and in all American literature. There is just a question of, could she be doing this more responsibly. Certainly the book is opening up doors for conversation and communication. Maybe she could have just had a bit of a graphic introduction in which she acknowledges some of these dynamics. So, I have mixed feelings about the book, I didn't like it as much as her other books, but I'm glad Telgemeier is writing. I read this article/review and enjoyed. http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This was my introduction to the wonderful Raina Telgemeier. I heard an interview with her on NPR this past weekend and immediately got the book. The theme of ghosts is season-appropriate, but this book is so much more. Catrina Allende-Delmar is the main character along with her younger sister, Maya. The family moves to a coastal town north of San Francisco - the fictional Bahia de la Luna- for the sake of Maya, who has cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is a genetic disease that affects the lungs. It is i This was my introduction to the wonderful Raina Telgemeier. I heard an interview with her on NPR this past weekend and immediately got the book. The theme of ghosts is season-appropriate, but this book is so much more. Catrina Allende-Delmar is the main character along with her younger sister, Maya. The family moves to a coastal town north of San Francisco - the fictional Bahia de la Luna- for the sake of Maya, who has cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is a genetic disease that affects the lungs. It is incurable, but there has been progress in improving outcomes for those born with it. The story begins in August and continues to the beginning of November, the Mexican celebration of Days of the Dead. This holiday coincides with the Catholic feasts Day of All Saints and Day of All Souls. The novel conveys the wonder of the Days of the Dead, a time to remember, honor, and welcome back the ghosts or souls of those who have passed away. These dates are special in other cultures. All Hallows Eve or Halloween celebrations go back to the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain. This festival was incorporated into Catholic holy days and the Mexican tradition of Days of the Dead originated in pre-Christian times. The Celts believed at this time of the year the boundary between the world of the living and the spirits became porous allowing spirits to enter our world for a brief time. Telgemeier does a wonderful job at portraying teenage angst.This graphic novel deals sensitively with the topic of childhood illness, and the impact of families. The characters are likeable and realistic. I loved the town and wish it were a real place I could visit. I can now understand why Telgemeier's graphic novels are wildly popular, and plan to read more!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tiffy

    I devoured this sweet graphic novel in one sitting. Can't wait to read more by this author.

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