Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier is a graphic novel for kids that is a great choice for your homeschool study. The story follows Cat and her family as they move to the coast of Northern California. It doesn’t take long for a new neighbor to introduce the girls to the fact that there are ghosts in their new neighborhood. Cat is terrified, but Maya is excited to meet them and learn more.
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Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Genre: Fiction Graphic Novel
Length: 256 pages
First Published: 2016
Ghosts Publisher’s Description
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own
My Goodreads Review
Cat and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, has cystic fibrosis. The cool air of the Northern coast will benefit her breathing. Soon a new neighbor introduces the girls to the fact that there are ghosts in their new neighborhood. Cat is terrified, but Maya is excited to meet them and learn more.
I really enjoyed this story about two sisters who are adjusting to a new town and the new experiences they discover there. The author did a great job representing the complicated relationship between an older and younger sister. While the appearance of ghosts is a bit mysterious at first, the story images and plot remain lively and fun. The book includes enough information about The Day of the Dead celebration to spark curiosity so readers might want to learn more.
NOTE: The younger sister has Cystic Fibrosis and does have to go to the hospital for some time. If your child might be sensitive to this situation, you should pre-read this book.
Ghost Book Club Ideas
Decorate using The Day of the Dead decorations. October would be an ideal month to find a few at local shops, but you can also check online any time of year.
Play Mexican Instrumental Music in the background during your book club celebration.
Celebrate Cat’s family’s Mexican heritage with Mexican dishes:
– Eat tamales (purchase frozen, order out, or make them yourself)
– Make Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread)
– Serve Chips with Salsa and/or Guacamole
– Create a taco bar for everyone to make their own
– any of YOUR favorite Mexican dishes
Make tissue paper marigold flowers, sprinkled on graves for The Day of the Dead. (mentioned in the book)
Make felt craft skulls using felt, scissors, and glue.
Use brightly colored paper products and tablecloths today in addition to The Day of the Dead decorations:
Ghosts Discussion Questions for Your Homeschool Study
1. What is Cat like at the start of the book? What is she like at the end? What events and moments cause some of these changes?
2. This book contains a lot of Mexican family traditions. What are some of your family traditions? For example, what is something your family does to celebrate birthdays?
3. Do you like the way ghosts were drawn in this book? Why do they change from a worm/blob shape to skeletons? How would you feel if you moved to a town obsessed with ghosts?
4. Look at pages 204-205. What sorts of things does the illustrator do to show movement in these images?
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier was part of my Outschool weekly graphic novel book club. I shared a little bit about what we discussed, including an interesting discussion about the setting on my Celebrate a Book Instagram:
Homeschooling with Graphic Novels:
Discussion Questions to Get You Started
Grab this set of questions designed to facilitate discussion about graphic novels:
Helpful Links for Studying Ghosts in Your Homeschool
The Scholastic Page for Ghosts includes a discussion guide and more.
Learn more about the author, Raina Telgemeier, and her other books.
Elementary School Titles for Your Next Homeschool Study
Other Books by Raina Telgemeier
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