Saturday, April 14, 2018

[Graphic Novel Review] Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Graphic Novel Review of Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier is a quick read, but it sure packs an emotional punch! The story of these two sisters is quite bittersweet, but very powerful.

Let's dive in!

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

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.

My thoughts: 
This graphic novel was so adorable. The artwork was brightly colored and fun. There wasn't a ton of detail, but it was all organized so well! I loved all the little words that were thrown in here and there to elaborate on what was happening in the panel.

The characters were perfect. I really enjoyed watching the main character, Cat, grow as the story moved along. And her little sister, Maya, was so cute! I loved her bravery and excitement and her outlook on life was also lovely. The sisterly love between these two was so refreshing! Of course there was still a bit of a struggle when the older sister wanted friendships of her own, but that only added to the realism of their relationship. The parents only played a small role, but they were wonderfully realistic.

The fact that Maya had cystic fibrosis added a very powerful element to the storyline. Considering the middle grade level, I think this was done very well. The author kept it real, but not too dark.I definitely hope to see more "real world" things like this in middle grade novels.

Beware, the negative: 
My one hesitation with this graphic novel is around the Dia de Los Muertos element. When I read through, I thought what the author included was fun and interesting. Thought it was clear that the mother didn't fully understand her heritage because she had been a typical angsty teen. So I wondered if the lack of information about the history was related to that, or if it was just lack of research on the authors end? Either way, I definitely would have liked to see more information.

Dia de Los Muertos in Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

My final thoughts:
I really enjoyed this read! It's a great one to pick up one afternoon and just read straight through. I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for a middle grade read for someone in that age range, or for yourself!

Thanks for reading!


  1. I liked this one too. Telgemeier is great!

    1. I definitely have to check out more of her work!

  2. Great review! I really loved this one, so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it overall. I like that they focused on cystic fibrosis, because I think seeing it in a graphic novel might help kids understand it more than just reading about it.