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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

    Lola

    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. 4 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 are g 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

    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.

  6. 5 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jon(athan) 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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Toph

    Probably my favorite book by Telgemeier so far. 3/5 stars.

  10. 5 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

    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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    AleJandra

    4 Sister Love STARS El Dia de los muertos es una celebración hermosa, familiar y que nos hace enorguéllesernos de haber fundido una tradición prehispánica con el catolicismo (así somos de fregones los mexicanos). Pero en la actualidad ha sido un tema por demás manoseado, que sirve para la venta de disfraces y pintarse las caras de catrina sin saber que es una catrina (como Beyonce). Pero bueno, para hacer esta reseña me voy a bajar de mi Hig horse, y le voy a cortar slack a la autora, que en re 4 Sister Love STARS El Dia de los muertos es una celebración hermosa, familiar y que nos hace enorguéllesernos de haber fundido una tradición prehispánica con el catolicismo (así somos de fregones los mexicanos). Pero en la actualidad ha sido un tema por demás manoseado, que sirve para la venta de disfraces y pintarse las caras de catrina sin saber que es una catrina (como Beyonce). Pero bueno, para hacer esta reseña me voy a bajar de mi Hig horse, y le voy a cortar slack a la autora, que en realidad no tiene culpa de que todo mundo quiera hablar de este tema, aunque no sepan. La autora sin duda se documentó mucho, lo que se menciona referente a la celebración me pareció que lo hizo de una forma respetuosa y bien informada. Obviamente la representación delos fantasmas es muy fantasiosa y caricaturizada, pero es un libro para niños. La historia me pareció muy linda y tierna, enalteciendo los lazos familiares y el enriquecimiento de la cultura. Así que bravo Raina Talgemeier por darnos unas protagonistas latinas, bravo por la multiculturalidad, bravo por los dibujos tan hermosos de los tamales, bravo por mostrar una familia unida a pesar de la adversidad, bravo por darnos un personaje con capacidades diferentes. < Mi hija Mexicocanadiense ya se ha vuleto su fan, a sus 5 años, porque se pudo ver representada en este libro. Ya se los dije y espero que me hagan caso: REPRESENTATION MATTERS. No tienen idea lo mucho que impacta en la vida de una niña, que esta creciendo con 2 culturas, con 2 lenguajes, y una cabeza muy confundida por querer descubrir a donde se pertenece.

  14. 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.

  15. 4 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!

  16. 5 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.

  17. 4 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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mariah

    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 :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    I finished this on the second day of Dia de los Muertos. Timing, people. Timing. This story is a bit of a departure from Telgemeier's other works. Per usual, it tackles both difficult and mundane topics in a relatable and humorous fashion but it veers off into supernatural territory and that may be a put off for some readers, especially if they're literal readers (as in, they take what they read at face value and don't look for deeper meaning) First off, this centers on two sisters. I don't remembe I finished this on the second day of Dia de los Muertos. Timing, people. Timing. This story is a bit of a departure from Telgemeier's other works. Per usual, it tackles both difficult and mundane topics in a relatable and humorous fashion but it veers off into supernatural territory and that may be a put off for some readers, especially if they're literal readers (as in, they take what they read at face value and don't look for deeper meaning) First off, this centers on two sisters. I don't remember if it's specified that they're Latin-American, maybe Mexican-American, or not so that might need to be sussed out through comprehension skills. Their mother has left behind her familial heritage so her daughters are not versed in traditional holidays and foods, Spanish language, or cultural identity; their background is plain, ol' white American, like their Caucasian father. When Cat and her sister, Maya (yes, that is her name), have to move to Northern California for Maya's health, they become involved in a community that reflects many cultures, especially Latino and Hispanic. This is important because the overall focus of this story is death. In general, Americans (specifically the white ones) hate death, they fear it. Caitlin Doughty just put out an interesting video on how Trump used death to instill fear in American voters (I apologize for poking that wound but I think it's relevant to this review and it won't hurt so much in a few years)(I hope). Catrina (yes, that is her name), the older sister, reflecting the standard white-American pre-teen, embodies that fear. Maya, the younger, lives with death. She has cystic fibrosis and knows that she could die from it at any time and that it will most likely kill her eventually. She reflects her Latino background by celebrating life as well as its end. Simplistic? Yes. It's a middle-grade graphic novel. The mundane parts of the story include sibling love and hate, the pain of moving to a new town, making new friends, meeting your first love, and learning local superstition. These bits fill in the cracks, making both Cat and Maya into kids we understand, or, at least, whose story we have read before. The town, though, it's mysterious and filled with ghosts. Like, literal ghosts. You can see them, everyone can see them, and the townsfolk respect and celebrate their unliving counterparts, as we see when the story culminates with a party at a crumbling Mission on Nov. 1st. Per usual, I related strongly to the story between sisters. I also loved the death acceptance message. I read this as a sometimes-humorous, othertimes-not story of one's culture(s), of accepting one's past, present, and future (or maybe lack thereof), but mostly of embracing death as a non-scary part of life. Having said that, I am going to point you to Other-Raina's review which discusses some of the problems with this story. While my main takeaway from this book focused on death acceptance, others will note the cultural appropriation issues listed in Raina's review so reader beware.

  20. 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!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    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

    Monica Edinger

    ETA 9/15/16 Highly recommend this informative comment from Yuyi Morales about the Día de los Muertos and this book. I loved this upon my first read and agreed with the other enthusiastic reviewers, but have recently been made aware of the problematic conflation of Halloween and el Día de los Muertos in the story. I'd like to hear from more about this aspect of the book.

  23. 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.

  24. 5 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...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maria Kramer

    I got this book because I love Telgemeier's work, then was surprised by the amount of hullabaloo surrounding the theme of the story - which is a sort of magical version of Dia de los Muertos in a town where ghosts really do, literally, come back and talk to you. Interestingly, I had just had a very long conversation with my Hispanic Resources Librarian (I am a library manager in real life) - who had talked about her own experience running Dia de los Muertos celebrations. She talked about how man I got this book because I love Telgemeier's work, then was surprised by the amount of hullabaloo surrounding the theme of the story - which is a sort of magical version of Dia de los Muertos in a town where ghosts really do, literally, come back and talk to you. Interestingly, I had just had a very long conversation with my Hispanic Resources Librarian (I am a library manager in real life) - who had talked about her own experience running Dia de los Muertos celebrations. She talked about how many young Mexican-American kids have never done any of the traditional Dia de los Muertos activities, because that's something their family lost. Others perform various Dia de los Muertos activities with their families and have never been told the meaning and history behind them. Cat and Maya's experience really rang true, not only based on that conversation, but based on my own family's history as immigrants - my grandparents are Italian, but they never taught my father the traditions or even language of their home country because they wanted him to fit in. Complaints of "cultural appropriation" abound for this book - which I'm not sure I understand. It seems like the complaint is that a white writer fell in love with a Mexican tradition and chose to explore it through the lens of a Mexican-American character. I've always thought authors should write about people who aren't like them - otherwise stories would be really boring! If I could only write about Italian-American librarians, I'd be a sad writer indeed. Also, I love the message of Dia de los Muertos and the imagery. Where I grew up - New Mexico - this imagery was ubiquitous and used by everyone: on murals, shirts, mugs, tattoos, jewelry, etc. In itself, the holiday is the result of two cultures meeting - the indigenous people of Mexico and the Catholic Spanish. It seems strange that the product of such syncretism is now being restricted to one cultural group. Cultures naturally borrow from each other, it's the nature of human history. It's desirable. It helps people appreciate and understand each other. That said, there is something missing from Ghosts. If I had to really formalize my complaints, I would say this book's a bit superficial, both about Dia de los Muertos and with the storyline in general. Not as much heart as other titles like Anya's Ghost or This One Summer. The art is lovely, and the story is very good.

  26. 5 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!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    This deceptively slim, yet richly original graphic novel recounts the story of two sisters whose family moves to a (significantly) foggy and breezy oceanside California town for the benefit of younger sister Maya, who suffers from cystic fibrosis and thus, her parents hope, may benefit from the sea winds of this misty, atmospheric coastal enclave. Awkward adolescent older sister Catrina initially struggles with the move away from her friends and to this odd old place, while at the same time wres This deceptively slim, yet richly original graphic novel recounts the story of two sisters whose family moves to a (significantly) foggy and breezy oceanside California town for the benefit of younger sister Maya, who suffers from cystic fibrosis and thus, her parents hope, may benefit from the sea winds of this misty, atmospheric coastal enclave. Awkward adolescent older sister Catrina initially struggles with the move away from her friends and to this odd old place, while at the same time wrestling with fear about Maya's illness and guilt that she feels ambivalent about moving somewhere that's supposed to be healthier for Maya. Fortunately, Catrina soon discovers that there are lots of intriguing souls to meet in this town, both residents and visitors alike. Seek no further if you're looking for a brightly-colored, unique, and whimsical genre-transcending book that can be equally appreciated by young people and adults and contends with existential matters such as reconnecting with the wisdom and marginalized cultural heritage of your ancestors and coming to terms with the inevitability and randomness of death. Plus, awesome illustrations of Day of the Dead feasts and festivities!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    10/06/16 Raina Telgemeier remains the queen of graphic novels. 11/07/16 Since my initial review, I've heard about some of the problems (cultural appropriation, insufficient research, "happy sick kid" trope) that others spotted in this book. I'm not very good at close-reading / "reading like a professor," so I frequently miss problematic elements in books. I agree with many of the criticisms, but I also think that Ghosts isn't all bad -- a mainstream book by a super-popular author with non-white mai 10/06/16 Raina Telgemeier remains the queen of graphic novels. 11/07/16 Since my initial review, I've heard about some of the problems (cultural appropriation, insufficient research, "happy sick kid" trope) that others spotted in this book. I'm not very good at close-reading / "reading like a professor," so I frequently miss problematic elements in books. I agree with many of the criticisms, but I also think that Ghosts isn't all bad -- a mainstream book by a super-popular author with non-white main characters and a character who has a chronic illness is still a good thing, when the majority of what is heavily promoted by the big publishers still tends to be middle-class white kids without major problems.

  29. 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!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tiffy_Reads

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

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