Books in the Park

suggestions from the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library at Pinellas Park

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

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anya's ghost cover smallAnya Borzakovskaya immigrated to the United States from Russia when she was a small girl with her mother and brother Sasha. Now in high school, Anya has lost her accent and baby weight but still has difficulty fitting in with her American peers. Anya’s only friend is a brazen tomboy named Siobhan who is equally as unpopular.

Early in the graphic novel Anya spots her crush kissing the most beautiful girl in school at the bus stop. Saddened and frustrated, Anya goes out into the woods to escape school and more awkward social situations. While lamenting her (lack of) love life, she unwittingly falls into a long forgotten well. There she discovers a skeleton—and the ghost that haunts it. The ghost says she’s been trapped down the well for ninety years because she can’t go very far from her bones. Anya is finally rescued from the well, but the ghost’s pinky finger bone somehow winds up in her bag, bringing the ghost with it.

At first, the ghost, Emily, is helpful: she helps Anya cheat on a test and gives dating advice. Emily even gets Anya invited to a cool party with her crush and helps her pick out an outfit that will get attention. But something seems wrong about Emily; her story about her death isn’t adding up. As Emily’s appearance changes and gains new powers, Anya knows she must solve the mystery behind Emily’s death before it’s too late.

Beautifully illustrated and with surprisingly deep and thorough storyline, I recommend Anya’s Ghost to fans of Neil Gaiman and anyone who likes a good ghost story.

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