The perfect book to kick-off autumn, Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier is an honest and emotional celebration of love, loss, and family.
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.
Ghosts is truly a celebratory book; it celebrates the northern California coast — with Telgemeier’s lovely drawings and descriptions of the cliffs and trees and seascapes, and the windy, misty weather. It celebrates heritage and tradition, with a truly stunning portrayal of the Day of the Dead celebration, and a beautiful interpretation of what it means to one community. It celebrates family: the family we have now, and the family that’s come before us, and the family we make for ourselves. It celebrates love.
It also hones the spotlight in on a topic that we all find difficult to face: loss and death. Ghosts finds a way to celebrate even these things, by giving Cat (and Maya, too), a way to discuss death and grief — something real and possible for them, given Maya’s illness — through a tangible possibility of life after death. Truly, Telgemeier’s portrayal of this is hopeful and inspiring and is the kind of message people of any age — adults and kids alike — can find true beauty in when coming to grips with a loss.
Ghosts is a story about growing up; it’s a story about fitting in; and it’s a story about accepting the hand you’ve been dealt with grace, and finding beauty and joy in your world. Look for it in stores now.
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