Melody

Scholastic Inc., | September 2016 | 256 pgs
Source: Purchased 


This graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier tells a story about the dead and the Mexican culture of honouring the day of the dead. But that is not all, it also tells a story about sisterly love, friendship and conquering your fears. 

Catrina and her family are leaving their home in Northern California to a laid back old town in Bahia de la Luna (this place was inspired by the foggy coastal Northern California where the artist grew up.) The reason for the move is that Cat's younger sister, Maya, is suffering from cystic fibrosis (a genetic disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, making breathing difficult and leading to frequent infections. There's no cure for this and at times patients need breathing tube to administer more oxygen and that extra nutrition have to be delivered through a port in their bellies while they sleep) and that they think Maya will benefit from the cool, salty air blows in from the sea. 

Cat isn't pleased about the move at first; after all she misses her friends, the convenience and the familiarity of her home town but she tells herself she will get used to it for the sake of Maya. They got to know their neighbour and their son, Carlos, who seems to know a lot of things about ghosts and finding the places of seeing them. While Maya is thrilled and is determined to meet one, Cat wants nothing to do with them. As Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) comes where the ghosts reunite with their loved ones, Cat tells herself she will go, for everything as well as for Maya since her condition doesn't allow her to. 

What turns out eventually is not only Cat conquers her fear but also getting to know more about the deceased who roam about in Bahia de la Luna (they aren't scary at all and are such friendly and enthusiastic ghouls). Raina Telgemeier wonderfully captures the (windy and foggy) atmospheric setting and Cat's emotions and her reminiscences of her late grandmother. And finally I have to share this note from Raina: "Making peace with your ghosts is as profound as the idea of life itself. And at the end of the day, love transcends life and death."



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10 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    This sounds like a good non-scary ghost story and a learning experience as well. Perfect read for Oct. Did your girls get you to purchase this one? Scholastic is such a great source, but since there are so many possibilities to choose from, my grands have a hard time making decisions!


  2. Lark Says:

    I don't read a lot of graphic novels, but this one sounds cute.


  3. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, it was a fun read but a thought-provoking one as well. My eldest got me to purchase this book; she's a fan of Raina Telgemeier. Yes, Scholastic does have a good variety of books.


  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - I really enjoyed reading this one. Loved Raina's work.


  5. The Bookworm Says:

    This sounds like a good graphic novel and I like the Dia de los Muertos aspect of it. Great post :)


  6. Melody Says:

    Naida - I loved everything about this book. Then again I've enjoyed every books I read by this artist. Hope you'll give them a try. :)


  7. This sounds perfect for this time of year, Melody. I can see how this would be thought provoking and yet fun at the same time.


  8. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Yes it is, isn't it? I wish we've some windy weather here; it's been so hot lately that one could sweat even without doing anything. Urgh!


  9. Iliana Says:

    Oh I have to add this to my TBR list! Sounds like a great read, Melody!


  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I hope you'll enjoy it, Iliana. :)