Thursday, October 4, 2012

Staff Picks

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol is an award-winning Teen Middle graphic novel.  The black and white drawings are full of emotion and are quite expressive.  Anya is a pretty typical young girl who wishes she were skinnier, that her family would stop embarrassing her, and that Sean, the cute boy at school, would notice her.  Anya's best friend Siobhan gives her grief over her crush on Sean, and tells her she will never be the skinny one who gets the guy.  Skipping school because she has had enough, Anya mutters to herself about her life, and falls down a deep, dark hole.

When her eyes get adjusted to the dark, Anya looks around to see a skeleton with a ghost attached to it in the hole with her, and freaks out.  Emily the ghost tells Anya that she too fell down the hole many years ago while being chased by a murderer, and died of starvation.  Anya is recued by a passerby but unknowingly scoops one of the skeleton's bones into her backpack during her rescue.  When Emily shows up, Anya realizes that where the bones go, the ghost can go.  At first, Anya begins to think ghosts might be fun.  Emily helps her with a test she had not studied for and finds out Sean’s schedule so that Anya can walk past him several times a day.  Anya makes a necklace of the bone so Emily can go everywhere with her.

Emily helps Anya get a ride to a popular party with Sean and his girlfriend and encourages Anya to wear clothes that are too tight, too short, and not like anything she would normally wear. When Anya finds out that Sean is not so hot or so cool and wants to leave the party, Emily gets angry.  She wants Anya to get the guy no matter what it takes.
Emily seems to be getting stronger as a ghost so Anya heads to the library to research Emily's death, to find out if Emily’s story is true.  Anya finds an old newspaper account of Emily’s death.  Emily had murdered a boy she liked and his girlfriend, then disappeared.  Anya goes home to tell Emily to leave her alone, but by this time Emily has become stronger and can push objects and cause trouble.  When Anya catches Emily poisoning food and causing Anya’s mom to fall down some stairs, she decides to take the bone back to the hole and leave Emily there, but the necklace is gone. 

To see if Anya can bury her ghost, take home a copy of Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol today.

Denise Leeson
Youth Services Specialist