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Anya's Ghost Paperback – June 7, 2011

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Editorial Reviews Review

Product Description
Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part . . .

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks.

Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

A Look Inside Anya's Ghost
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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Anya’s Ghost is a masterpiece, of YA literature and of comics.”—Neil Gaiman
"Remarkable. . . . with an attitude and aptitude reminiscent of Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) who likewise conveyed the particulars of an immigrant adolescence, Brosgol has created a smart, funny and compassionate portrait of someone who, for all her sulking and sneering, is the kind of daughter many parents would like to have. And the kind of girl many of us maybe once were.” -- The New York Times

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 300L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596435526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596435520
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a book that I will keep for a very long time and read over.
This is a powerful debut full length graphic novel for Vera (she's done a couple of short stories before) and it's a wonderfully told story.
Andy Shuping
I highly recommend this graphic novel to anyone, teen or adult alike.
M G Heggemann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a great graphic novel for young teens -- especially girls -- with a well-paced story and plenty to say about social anxiety, body image, friendship, and ghostbusting. Anya is a 9th or 10th-grader at a lower-tier private school (not unlike the one I went to), who is embarrassed by her immigrant past. Her family came to the US from Russia when she was five, and she has worked very hard to lose any accent, eat American foods (while not becoming plump), dress properly, and generally fit in as an American teen. However, the signs of her angst are literally postered all over her bedroom: Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Neko Case, The Shins, Metric, etc. -- all perfectly good bands, but indicative of an underlying wistfulness. (Had she been of my generation, there surely would have been at least one Smiths and one Cure poster.)

One afternoon, she falls down a hole in the park and makes the acquaintance of a ghost from 1918 named Emily. She's been hovering over her skeleton for years, mourning the death of her fiancee in WWI, and herself at the hands of a murderer.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Matus on June 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Vera Bosgol's graphic novel Anya's Ghost is a tale of an angst-ridden, curvy teenage girl who attends Catholic school. Her family's from Russia, although her years of time in ESL have trained her to abandon her embarrassing accent in order to fit in with her peers. A fellow classmate, Dimi, is also from Russia, but his shameless love of his culture--along with his large glasses, funny haircut, and general dorkiness--earn him regular beatings at school. Anya has done everything in her power to avoid this, including refusing to eat the greasy Russian treats her mom fries up in the morning. While her brother bounces around, eagerly awaiting his delicious meal, Anya is clearly above this sort of behavior.

The story begins with Anya walking to school and encountering her boyish friend Siobhan (more specifically her only friend), who pesters Anya for cigarettes and becomes angry when she is offered none. Infuriated by this argument, Anya storms away into a nearby forest on her own. Unfortunately, an open well goes unnoticed and she falls into it. She amazingly winds up with nothing worse a sprained wrist, but now she has concerns whether she will be rescued from the bottom of the well. A skeleton is her only companion deep in the well--that is until a homely ghost named Emily greets her. Emily tells Anya she has been trapped in the well for ninety years after a gruesome murder. The reason she never tried to escape can be attributed to her pile of bones, which she can never depart from.

After being rescued, Anya reluctantly allows Emily to be her friend by wearing a small finger bone around her neck.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first started hearing about this graphic novel a couple of months ago and it immediately caught my attention. How often does Neil Gaiman lend his praise to a work? And then I started seeing the sample pages that First Second released and I was captivated by the illustrations. So needless to say I was really looking forward to reading this book (I kept trying to find someone that would let me read it an ARC because I was so excited about it.) And the book doesn't disappoint at all. It's the perfect story for young and old alike that deals with so many of the same issues that we all face--anxiety about who we are, body image, who are friends are, and growing up just a little bit.

Anya is a young teenage girl in high school who is embarrassed by where she and her family came from...Russia. She's trying hard to fit in by losing her accent, wearing the "right" clothes, going on diets, and trying to hang out with the "right" other words not the nerdy Russian boy in her class. But...try as she might she doesn't fit in with the crowd that she really wants to...the popular ones. And then one day, she falls down an abandoned well in the park and meets a skeleton...and the ghost of the young girl from 1918 named Emily. Emily has been forgotten about and can't wander far from her skeleton and was just waiting for someone to come back and visit her. She keeps Anya company as she waits to be rescued, which she soon is, and one of Emily's bones hitches a ride...and Emily's ghost follows. Although there's trepidation at first Emily soon becomes Anya's confidant and helping her get the right answers on exams, making suggestions about what to wear, and help Anya get the attention of her crush.
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