A few weeks ago I was given the task of purchasing brand new books to be added to the school library where I am currently working. Of course, due to the popularity of graphic novels with my students, I made it a priority to scope out some new and fantastic titles to add to the library’s collection. During my research, Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brogsol kept popping up on all of the recommended graphic novel lists that I could find. Intrigued, but wary about the appropriateness of the graphic novel for elementary students, I picked up a copy from my local public library to check out for myself.
Anya is a typical teenage girl, who has a crush on the school’s most popular boy, finds it difficult to make new friends, and is embarrassed by her family. Walking home from school one day, however, Anya accidentally falls into an old abandoned well where she makes an unexpected new friend named Emily. The only problem is that Emily is dead….and has been for 90 years! Anya figures her new companion is innocent enough, until strange things begin happening at home…
I devoured Anya’s Ghost! After starting to read it during my lunch break at work, the first thing that I did when I got home was rush through the final pages to find out how the story would end. Short, yet gripping, this graphic novel was full of delicious suspense and drama! While a story about fitting in at school is nothing new, Brosgol makes it exciting and fresh with her addition of a ghostly best friend. I loved the black and white illustrations throughout the book, which were charming and contained just enough edge to give Anya’s Ghost the spooky flair that it needed.
While I wouldn’t recommend this graphic novel to elementary students (due to some mature content), I could definitely see high school girls loving this fast-paced and thrilling read! A unique and captivating story, Anya’s Ghost is definitely on my list of must read graphic novels! I can’t wait to see what Brosgol comes up with next!
Random Fact: Vera Brosgol is a graduate in Classical Animation from Sheridan College in Canada! Yay Canada!