Tomorrow, we celebrate all the things we have. We gather, with people we love, to give thanks. Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a National Holiday during the Civil War. The tradition has continued through the invention of the automobile, the telephone and manned flight; two World Wars; the Great Depression; the Civil Rights movement; The Cold war; peaceniks and hippies (Me! Me!); the Space Race; the invention of the Internet; 9/11; reality TV. No matter what is happening, we all set aside a moment or two to appreciate what we have.
One of the people I am grateful for is Raina Telgemeier, cartoonist. I picked up Ghosts, her latest novel, and sped through it. The story is a simple one, of a 12-year-old who has to find her way in a new town. But here's the twist; Cat's younger sister, Maya, has cystic fibrosis. The family has moved to a small town on the North California coast to help Maya's breathing.
Little do they realize that their new hometown is riddled with ghosts. To Cat, this is horrifying. To Maya, it is fascinating. She has questions to ask the spirit denizens of her town.
Telgemeier does not sugar coat the realities of Maya's disease, or the strain it puts on Cat as she works to be accepted for who she is at her school. Her characters' faces are so expressive, that often words are not needed. This book won't stay on the shelf.