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Anya抯 Ghost

by Vera Brosgol

Published by First Second, 2011
221 pages
ISBN: trade 978𢴓96437135; pbk. 978𢴓96435520

Age 12 and older

Anya feels disengaged at high school; at odds with her lone friend, Siobhan; annoyed with her Russian mother; and invisible to the popular boy she admires from a distance. Stomping through a park, oblivious to everything but her overwrought emotions, she steps straight into a deep well and discovers a skeleton, along with the talkative ghost to whom it belongs. Emily tells Anya that she抯 been trapped for ninety years, chased to her death by the man who murdered her parents, and bound in place by an inability to leave her bones. When Anya is rescued she unknowingly takes Emily抯 pinky bone with her, enabling Emily to come along. Once she adjusts to the bizarre prospect of a ghostly companion, Anya starts to enjoy the advantages: her grades improve as invisible Emily scouts classmates tests and reports the answers; Anya has a conversation with the boy of her dreams; Emily urges her to pursue a relationship with him; and best of all, Anya no longer feels lonely. But it turns out that Emily抯 hiding a few things, including the truth about her past. As Anya starts to investigate what really happened ninety years before, Emily抯 malevolent nature is revealed and becomes a threat to Anya and her family, giving Anya new appreciation for things that really matter to her. Vera Brosgol抯 engaging graphic novel blends an insightful, often funny look at adolescence and the immigrant experience with a satisfyingly unsettling ghost story.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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