Author: Telgemeier, Raina
Catrina and her family have moved to the coast of Northern California for the sake of her little sister, Maya, who has cystic fibrosis--and Cat is even less happy about the move when she is told that her new town is inhabited by ghosts, and Maya sets her heart on meeting one. In graphic novel format.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 2.60
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 184470
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 69758
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/16)
School Library Journal (+) (06/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/16)
The Hornbook (00/09/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2016 Gr 4–8—Catrina and her family have just moved to Northern California. Bahía de la Luna is different from Cat's hometown—for one thing, everyone is obsessed with ghosts—but the sea air makes it easier for Cat's younger sister, Maya, who has cystic fibrosis (CF), to breathe. Carlos, a new friend and neighbor, introduces the girls to a different perspective on the spiritual world. Ghosts, he says, aren't frightening; they're the spirits of loved ones. Cat has her doubts—especially after a ghostly encounter puts Maya in the hospital—but as Day of the Dead celebrations draw closer, she starts to reconsider. Readers will relate to these realistically flawed characters. Maya is frank about her illness and optimistic despite her awareness that her prognosis is poor, while Cat struggles, feeling intensely protective of her sister, anxious about her illness, and resentful about the limitations that Maya's condition places upon the whole family. Themes such as the sibling bond, death, and culture are expertly woven throughout. As Cat comes to terms with the existence of ghosts, she also navigates her background (her father is white, while her mother is Mexican). Telgemeier employs the cheerful cartoon artwork that fans of Smile, Drama, and Sisters know and love, but her palette is more muted in places, fitting the book's somewhat serious and somber themes. VERDICT A can't-miss addition to middle grade graphic novel shelves; hand to fans of the author and newcomers alike.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2016 In this gem of a graphic novel, there is a town where ghosts are real and they’ll be good company if you offer kindness back. Cat can’t really worry about the ghosts, though, because she’s already got too much on her plate with her family’s move to Bahía de la Luna and her sister’s struggle with cystic fibrosis. As November 1st approaches, everyone readies for the Day of the Dead celebration, where many ghosts, old and new, will come together to party with the living, and Maya, Cat’s sister, wants in on it. There’s sharply poignant commentary about breath throughout, as the ghosts require a bit of it to energize themselves and Maya has increasingly little to spare given her illness. The ghosts, blobs of silvery white until you make a connection with an individual one (after which it takes on a skeleton the approximate size of the human when he or she died), are clearly benign, so there’s little spook factor. The clear emphasis here is on inclusion, keeping the dead alive through memories, altars, and, in this town at least, occasional visits with their ghosts. Lushly colored illustrations are used to good effect, with shadowy grays and washed out greens (when Maya is not well and when Cat is scared) dramatically contrasting with the vibrant dark blue of calm nighttime scenes with friendly ghosts. A brief afterword describes Día de los Muertos and cystic fibrosis in clear, accessible language. AS - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.