While I don't often read graphic novels, I decided to give this one a go. Telgemeier's items barely make it to the shelves before both guys and girls have it checked out again. I just lucked out and caught this copy in the rare 20 seconds where there were no holds. And I liked it. The pictures really helped to illustrate both the story of emotions (like when Cat is afraid of the ghosts) and give a good idea of what some of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) looks like. The story is about a family that moves to a northern California coastal town for Maya's health. While Maya, ever the optimist, loves the town and its ghostly history, Cat is not. She doesn't believe in ghosts and misses her friends. However, the salty breezes are good for Maya's cystic fibrosis...and for ghosts. Maya wants to meet them to ask questions about death and the other side. Cat does not. However, for the love of her sister, Cat eventually gets over her fears and misconceptions of both her next-door neighbor AND ghosts for a happy ending. The one major complaint that this book has received is its descriptions of Dia de Los Muertos. It isn't accurate nor factual. I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't read some reviews when it came out. There are also reviews regarding the (fairly accurate) depiction of cystic fibrosis and describing the inaccuracies (not a death sentence, why move away from good health care?!). I leave it up to you to decide whether it is best described as realistic, fantasy, or both.
Catrina and her family have moved to the coast of Northern California for the sake of her little sister, Maya, who has cystic fibrosis--and Cat is even less happy about the move when she is told that her new town is inhabited by ghosts, and Maya sets herheart on meeting one.