Raina Telgemeier’s new graphic novel Ghosts is about death. But it’s written for children.
Telgemeier tells NPR’s books editor, Barrie Hardymon, that stories serve as a way to begin difficult conversations. “Stories are such a powerful way of communicating ideas and in comforting people,” she says.
Her latest graphic novel ‘Ghosts’ is about two sisters, middle-schooler Catrina and little sister Maya, who has the incurable lung disease cystic fibrosis. Their family has just moved to a new town on the Northern California coast where their parents hope the cool sea air will help Maya breathe.
The town turns out to be full of ghosts — and Maya wants nothing more than to befriend them, though her older sister can’t accept that Maya may soon join them. The story carries themes of acceptance, packed with imagery of the town, its ghosts and its Day of the Dead celebrations.
Telgemeier talked with NPR’s Barrie Hardymon about broaching difficult topics with children, why she likes skeletons, and the similarities between characters and real people in her life.