Catrina (who goes by "Cat") is not happy about the changes in her life. She is leaving all of her friends in Southern California and moving to Northern California in hopes that the environment will help her sister Maya, who has cystic fibrosis. While she understands, Cat also gets frustrated about all the attention Maya gets. Right after they arrive, Cat and Maya explore the local beaches, foggy forests, and boardwalk in their new hometown, they find an old arcade. Inside, they meet Carlos, who, they later find out, is their neighbor. Through Carlos and his family, Cat's family learns about the ghosts in the city, as well as Dia de los Muertos, a remembrance of the dead celebrated on November 1st. Where Cat is uncomfortable and scared by the discussion, Maya feels joy and excitement. Together, the sisters explore the ghost-filled city, where adventures and different learning experiences await them. Ultimately, the experiences bring the girls closer together.
Note: Content Awareness Factor contains spoiler.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (13):
Ghosts is a graphic novel suitable for many ages. The story is full of tradition and cultural detail which set the mood of the story and allow readers to find what is enjoyable to them.Children as young as 8 will enjoy the story, which is told in a child-friendly way. The themes of ghosts, death and celebrating the dead are part of the plot, it is not scary and the book does not include inappropriate language for young readers. For me, what makes the story even better is the characters' personalities. Each person has his or her own personality and it shines through.
Raina Telgemeier fans will NOT be disappointed! Readers new to graphic novels or Telgemeier's work will find this a great entry into the genre. The story is poignant, humorous, and hopeful.
The presence of ghosts in the tradition of Mexican culture are key to the plot. The same is true for beliefs about death. Cystic fibrosis is a terminal illness and Maya dies. Readers are prepared for it by the way the story is written, but sibling death may bother some readers.
This is a graphic novel about a young girl dealing with the illness and potential loss of her sister due to a terminal illness.
Ghosts is sure to spark curiosity about the Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead. Other cultures also have traditions and beliefs about the passing of family members, definitely tap into that curiosity to build cultural awareness.
The story may also engage kids in the ways they think about death. Encourage those discussions, so they can become comfortable and less fearful.
10 and Up
9 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 13
Buy. Ghosts is a fun story to read any time. Maya and Cat are characters kids will relate to.