Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (September 19, 2016): Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Edit (10/30/2016): A formatting error has been fixed.

For MMGM, I'm recommending Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier.

Here's the publisher's description:

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 has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.

Firstly: ART! ART! ART! ART! ART! In other words, Ghosts is a graphic novel, just like Telgemeier's other books (such as Smile, a super-popular graphic novel which you should also read). The art is beautiful, and captures the town in the book, Bahía de la Luna, incredibly well as a foggy ocean town (for a completely fabulous image, see pages 22-23). The story is as great as the art. Telgemeier has always been both a great artist and writer, and Ghosts is no different. Cat's sister, Maya, suffers from cystic fibrosis, and Telgemeier handles it very well, especially with worries about the possibility of Maya dying. The characters are very well-written, and both Cat's nervousness about Maya and Maya's ability to stay happy are very realistic. In addition, as you might have guessed from the title, there are ghosts in the book, and they tie into the theme of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday which is less about mourning and more about celebrating those who have died. The description of this holiday is great, and the visuals for the related festival are great, featuring great color by Braden Lamb, the book's colorist. This book does everything fabulously and is a great read.


  1. Two reviews today. Like different perspectives. I keep seeing more stories with the main character or sibling with Cystic Fibrosis. An important story for kids with CF. And, it sounds funny, so there is a lightness to the story. Will check it out!

  2. Oops. I reviewed Ghosts today too. At least we agree, it was fabulous. Raina really blew me away wih this one. Thanks.

  3. Glad to see the double praise for this one today. Makes me want to read it more. Thanks for your thoughts on GHOSTS.

  4. AHHH!! I'm reviewing ghosts for an MMGM too!!!


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