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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ghosts is a fantasy graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier, author of Drama and Smile. It features a young character coping with cystic fibrosis. One sister wants to meet a ghost, while the other is frightened by the idea. The ghosts chase Catrina and Maya, but their intentions are friendly. There's no swearing, sexual content, or substance use.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
At the beginning of GHOSTS, Catrina's family moves to the coast of Northern California. The cool, wet air in Bahia de la Luna is good for her sister Maya's cystic fibrosis, but Catrina is unhappy and misses her friends. The town seems creepy, especially once a neighbor boy, Carlos, starts telling the sisters about the ghosts that haunt the place. Maya is excited by the thought of meeting a ghost, but Catrina grows increasingly anxious and sad. In the wake of a medical emergency, Catrina must decide how to face her fear of mortality, for Maya's sake and her own.
Is it any good?
With a light touch and a sensitive ear, this absorbing graphic novel explores issues of mortality and the possibility of life after death. Ghosts shows two sisters' different reactions to the supernatural, and the feelings of both girls are treated with respect. Author-illustrator Raina Telgemeier works her illustrative magic on both the fantastic and the mundane aspects of her story, rooting the spectral antics in a realistic setting that's both mysterious and inviting.
Ghosts advocates living life to the fullest, no matter what lies beyond it, and young readers are likely to respond well to the book's generous heart and true-to-life characters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can about how the characters in Ghosts deal with the notion of death. How do holidays like the Mexican Day of the Dead help people cope with the loss of their loved ones?
What kinds of changes do families make when one of the members faces a chronic illness? What strategies do the characters in Ghosts employ to help Maya stay well with her cystic fibrosis?
How do various religions and cultures view the possibility of an afterlife? How do the various characters in Ghosts react to the notion of ghosts?
- Author: Raina Telgemeier
- Illustrator: Raina Telgemeier
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Brothers and Sisters, Holidays, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Graphix
- Publication date: September 13, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 256
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.