Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya is a pretty average and she tries hard to be. Her family came to America from Russia when she was five. Since then Anya has worked hard to lose her accent, shun her heritage (including those fattening Russian foods her mom is always making), and blend in to the background. But after dropping down an abandoned well, it’s going to be a whole lot harder for Anya to act normal. Especially since the ghost she met down there hitched a ride out in her backpack. Now she wants to be Anya’s best friend and confidant… forever.

This well-paced, well-drawn graphic novel--written and illustrated by Vera Brosgol--is a great book. It’s a story about a teenage girl dealing with the usual things teenage girls deal with: boys, school, friends, social anxiety, body image, bullies, etc. Add in a creepy dead girl who won’t go away and you've got a great recipe for a book full of drama and chills!

I’m especially fond of the artistic style that Vera Brosgol employs in illustrating Anya’s life. Her use of bold, sweeping lines is graceful and visually appealing. Vera also employs a limited color pallet, which gives the story a dark look but is truly beautiful and is much less overwhelming for the reader.

If you like Anya’s Ghost and are looking for more high-school centered graphic novels, try Drama by Raina Telgemeier or Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge. Or if you want more stories about immigrant children working to fit in, check out American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. These graphic novels and many more are available at the Virginia Beach Public Library.

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