I happened to see this graphic novel at the library. I remembered enjoying Smile, and figured this would be a safe bet as well.
Genre: fantastical graphic novel
Length: 240 pages
Setting: Northern California, present day
Summary: Cat’s family has moved to Northern California in the hopes the weather will be more conducive to her sister Maya’s health. (Maya has cystic fibrosis.) Turns out the town is known for its ghosts, which totally terrifies Cat. Maya, on the other hand, is fascinated and want to talk to the ghosts to find out what being dead is like. A trip up the hill to visit ghosts leads to a flare-up in Maya’s cystic fibrosis. Cat slowly adjusts to the new home, but isn’t so sure she wants to participate in the big Day of the Dead party the town celebrates. Maya eventually convinces Cat not to be afraid of the ghosts, and she has a great time at the celebration.
Final thoughts: As expected, a delightful story on many levels. Telgemeier certainly knows how to write a diverse graphic novel. The main character’s family is mixed race, with the mother from Mexico, plus her sister has a fatal genetic disease (cystic fibrosis). On top of that, you have a story about making friends and overcoming your fears and enjoying the opportunities around you. Cat is reminded to enjoy Maya while she’s able, even with the knowledge that some day in the not-too-distance future, cystic fibrosis will kill her. Yes, there’s a bit of melancholy to the story, but ultimately it is hopeful.
Title comes from: Ghosts were common visitors in their new town
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