I am diving in headfirst with this introduction – I absolutely loved Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts and could not get enough of it! The review that follows will convince you of those facts, that’s for sure!
What I Expected
- A really cute story – I’ve read other graphic novels by Telgemeier and have loved them all!
- Other than ghosts of some sort and adorableness, I had no clue what to expect
What I got
- An education on a disease about which I knew VERY little about
- My intense obsession with Telgemeier’s work grew greatly
- A precious tale of the relationship between a pair of sisters
What I Thought
I read Ghosts in ALMOST a single day – it’s fast moving, the illustrations are precious and fun, the story is heartwarming, and there is just a tiny hint of romance. Centering around Cat and her little sister, Maya, the tale encompasses a variety of themes, among them cystic fibrosis and Latin American culture.
I may have mentioned before that I LOVE to learn as I read and that I did. The story focuses a lot on The Day of the Dead, which is celebrated on November 1st and, as the name suggests, honors those who have passed away and seeks to invite spirits to be comfortable in this world.
Cystic fibrosis is a disease about which I knew very little prior to reading Ghosts. Maya, the younger sister, is very outgoing and is pretty much the total opposite of her healthy, older sister, Cat. In spite of her sickness, Maya is incredibly upbeat and adventurous.
The tale begins with the girls’ family moving to a seaside town in California, mainly for the fresher air to help with Maya’s cystic fibrosis, which affects the lungs as well as the digestive system, of which I was totally unaware.
While Maya adjusts quickly to their new home and is anxious for adventure, Cat takes a while to adjust. While out walking on one of their first days in their new town, the siblings encounter Carlos, a boy who tells the sisters about the town’s rich history of celebrating The Day of the Dead as well as its ghostly population.
Cynical at first, Cat blows off Carlos completely, while Maya embraces him and the town’s culture immediately. However, when Maya becomes severely ill and must rest for quite some time, Cat ventures out on her own, makes friends at school, and even begins to embrace The Day of the Dead and the town’s other traditions.
While there is a hint of sadness in the story, Ghosts left me feeling optimistic and hopeful, just like Maya. It was fun to read about Cat’s evolution and eventual adjustment to her new hometown. Cat transforms from being a negative cynic into a positive role model for Maya. Heartwarming and enjoyable, I very highly recommend this book and I cannot wait to read more of Telgemeier’s work!