Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Illustrator: Raina Telgemeier
Catrina knows that moving to the salty-aired coast will help her sister Maya, who has cystic fibrosis, but moving is still hard. The homesickness that Cat feels is soon overshadowed when she meets their neighbor, Carlos, who informs her of the town’s secret: it’s full of ghosts. Despite her disbelief, Cat is dragged along on Maya and Carlos’s ghost hunts. Cat is shocked when they actually find ghosts but is left feeling guilty when the ghosts make Maya’s condition flare up. Since Maya is now too sick to attend the Dia De Los Muertos festivities, Cat and Carlos bring a special guest home to cheer her up.
Ghosts is a beautiful graphic novel with colorful illustrations that pull readers into the adventures of this mysterious town. Teglemeier uses text and illustration equally to tell the story, and readers must examine the illustrations carefully to uncover the depth that lies in the plot. Multicultural readers will especially enjoy the Spanish language and culture that is represented in the book, although all readers will be able to make their own connections to the relatable characters regardless of cultural background. Multicultural characters, along with female protagonists and a character with a chronic illness, make this book a crowning piece for diverse children’s literature. As Cat learns lessons in familial love and finding joy in tough circumstances, readers can’t help but see themselves in Cat and grow alongside her throughout her adventures. The heartwarming story mixed with mystery, adventure, and humor has something that will appeal to any reader’s tastes.