Friday, December 23, 2016

Ghosts by Reina Telgemeier

Cover image for GhostsCat and her family move to northern California because Cat's sister, Maya, needs a more humid climate because of Cystic Fibrosis.  In their new town there is a strong tradition of interactions with ghosts, culminating with the Day of the Dead celebration in November.  Cat is not at all interested in becoming more acquainted with the dear departed, but Maya is fascinated with them, and that is what frightens Cat most. 

This is a graphic novel that is also on a lot of Newbery lists.  It is not without controversy, though.  The story draws heavily on Hispanic traditions, but Telgemeier is not Hispanic. So can a writer write about a culture they are not part of?  Of course they can.  Should they get an award for it?  Maybe or maybe not.  I must admit the cultural appropriation did bother me a bit. The book made it seem like all Hispanics talk with ghosts.  I can also see why the book got good reviews.  It is well done, and it deals with an important issue of making peace with death. (239 p.)

I have been reassigned to order the graphic novel section of my library, so I will be reading a more graphic novels going forward.

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