Saturday, December 10, 2011

anya's ghost by vera brosgol

Anya is up to her ears in annoyances: her embarrassing Russian mother, her chubby thighs, her invisible social status at school, and an omnipresent irritating fellow emigre Dima, to name a few. In the midst of her fuming, she falls down a hidden well, and encounters the century old ghost of Emily Reilly. Once rescued, Anya enjoys the perks of having a ghost for a friend, but their relationship turns a corner when Anya discovers Emily's secret and confronts her. Ms. Brosgol's approachable illustrations are appropriately colored in a moody palette of black, white, and indigo. Her brilliant use of perspective (from close-ups to aerial shots), along with the use of half page panels and insets, strengthen the emotional highs and lows of the storyline. A pleasantly spooky and impressive debut. Give it to fans of Hope Larson's Mercury. Grade 8+