My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Telgemeier, known for her graphic novel adaptations of The Baby-Sitters Club, as well as the original books Sisters & Smile, here tells the story of Catrina, a typical young teenage girl whose parents take her and her sister from sunny, Southern California to a windy and foggy seaside town in the norther part of the state. The move is due to the cystic fibrosis with which her younger sister, Maya, suffers. As much as she loves her sister and is concerned about her, Cat can't help but feel some anger as she is separated from the friends and their social activities. Slowly she becomes adapted to her new school and makes friends, but in doing so cuts Maya out of her life.
One thing that both sisters discover is that the town believes in and celebrates ghosts, especially at the annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. It seems that here in this town the dead truly do return to party and feast with their descendants. Can the fearful Catrina finally accept the possibility that spirits do survive? Also, why do some of them become so welcoming to young Maya, who understand all too well how brief life can be.
While Telgemeier's artstyle is easily accessible to kids, I'm not sure that this book would not frighten some younger children, with the concept of death, especially of children their own age. Lovely book, but parents might want to read it before letting their child read it or reading it to them.
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