Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Ghosts Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Insightful, moving graphic novel of sisters facing fears.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 18 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Ghosts explores the folklore behind the Mexican Day of the Dead and the traditions associated with the holiday. The story also features a young character coping with cystic fibrosis and details some of her treatments.

Positive Messages

Our fears about the future shouldn't prevent us from enjoying the present. Traditions celebrating the lives of our ancestors can bring families closer together.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Catrina loves her sister Maya, but sometimes she resents the extra attention the younger girl receives due to her illness. Maya mostly maintains a cheerful, positive outlook about her illness, but sometimes she's scared by what may lie ahead for her. Both girls find the courage to face their fears about death and the afterlife.

Violence & Scariness

Kids are chased by ghosts, who turn out to be friendly.


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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRoss N. March 30, 2018

Review of Ghost

Makenna Lynn Gordon
In Ghost, the primary characters are Cat and Mya and... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old April 4, 2020

best book

I am nine and in my perspective, this book was inserting and scary. Some of my friends went out on the 2nd page. Sorry little kids who want to read it now but i... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byluckydove March 31, 2020

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?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love graphic novels

Themes & Topics

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