Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Ever since I was a kid I have loved a good ghost story, and judging from the books many of my students choose, I am not alone.

My students also love graphic novels, and Raina Telgemeier is a favorite author. Her breakout book was Smile, a memoir of orthodontic woes and her own middle school years. The novel Drama and another memoir, Sisters, were her follow-up offerings. In between, she also illustrated graphic versions of the first four Babysitter Club novels by Ann M. Martin.

Popular with boys and girls alike, no matter how many copies I have, I can't keep her books on my shelf. So, when I saw back in May that her newest novel would be released in September, it was a no-brainer pre-order. This morning, I grabbed it from my mailbox and threw it in my school bag, knowing it would make great reading as my students were taking a required online reading inventory.

I was right! Ghosts has everything-- perfect for this time of year, it follows a family of mixed Mexican and American heritage who move to a coastal town in Northern California right before school starts to benefit the youngest daughter's health. There they find a diverse population who all seem to embrace the ghosts the town is famous for. Spooky but not too scary, it straddles this world and the spirit world and culminates late at night as Halloween fades to Dia de los Muertos. With a likable but conflicted main character, Ghosts explores serious issues that are relevant to lots of kids: loss, family, regret, death, and forgiveness.

I loved it! In fact, when one of the kids spotted it on my desk and asked if someone was reading it, I confess to being a little snippy when I replied, "Yes! Me!"

But, since I already have a waiting list of ten kids to read it next?

I ordered three more copies.

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