Today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday pick
|Raina Telgemeier's latest graphic novel, Ghosts|
Written by Raina Telgemeier
Ages 8-12, Lexile 300
256 pages, 51000 words
Terminal illness, Dia de los Muertos, Relationships, New kid
|Here's a peek at the first page of Ghosts, |
by Raina Telgemeier
Thoughts: Watch out for some slight spoilers!
I love Raina Telgemeier's art. That is undisputed. Her characters are adorable and lively. Her comic panels read well. Her storytelling style is simply fun.
As for Raina's past graphic novels, they have a definite charm. I was never as big a fan of Smile as my middle school-aged daughter, but I appreciated the depth and honesty in the book and though Drama was full of three dimensional characters, I thought the story a bit lacking.
Now Ghosts has arrived. In general, I avoid ghost stories. Sorry, they're just not my thing. Enter the school book fair and a prime opportunity to check it out.
So checking it out turned to sitting on the floor reading it outright.
Ghosts captured my imagination immediately. The mc is a real girl with real emotions. Though she clashes with her parents, she isn't so rebellious that the mom in me cringes. Her sister bugs her, but the family ties are stronger than her teen hormones. Most stirringly of all, she is conflicted about her little sister's illness. The mc has to protect her sister, be responsible and grown-up, yet she longs to think about her own needs and being protected herself.
Ghosts tackles plenty of themes. Struggles with moving to a new place, fitting in, boy/girl relationships, and caring for younger siblings. On top of that, the little sister's illness is terminal. Now mix in the California culture and generation conflicts sewn together by the theme of seeing ghosts and celebrating Dia de los Muertos. The holiday provides a perfect setting for discussing grief and loss. I was a Happy Hollisters kid, but I can see this book sliding right onto that bookshelf. It's positive and idyllic despite the heavy themes. It presents a more realistic world for young readers, but with the same optimistic vibe. I hope you'll love it as much as I do.
Bonus: Raina's ghosts and skeletons are SO CUTE!
1. Don't believe me? You can read the review in the NY Times.
2. Still not convinced? You can watch the trailer for Ghosts from YouTube or meet the author/illustrator in person. Dates, times, tickets for her tour are here.
|Reviewed by Booksylvania|
|Reviewed by Books4Learning|
|Reviewed by Jasmine|
|Reviewed by Suzanne|
|Reviewed by Alyson|
|Reviewed by Alyson|
4. And the winner is . . . Emily Martha Sorensen!
Congratulations on winning last week's book giveaway! Send me your mailing information and which prize you've chosen. I'll get that out to you this week. Thanks to all who spread the word.
Check out all the recommended titles for September 19, 2016 Marvelous Middle Grade Monday available on Shannon's blog.
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Have you reviewed a Marvelous Middle Grade book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!