From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 7 Up When readers first meet Garth Hale, he is about to receive the fifth diagnosis that his disease is incurable. How fitting, then, that a boy who thinks about death more than other kids his age should be accidentally zapped into the afterlife. When washed-up ghost wrangler Frank Gallows realizes that he accidentally sent Garth through to the other side, he does everything in his power to rescue him. Meanwhile, Garth explores the spirit world with a skeleton horse, a variety of terrifying and fantastic creatures, and some family members whom he never expected to meet. TenNapel mixes emotional epiphanies with humor in a way that will appeal to a broad audience. Characters experience personal growth and learn lessons about themselves throughout the course of this book, but these lessons feel integral to the plot rather than forced down readers' throats. TenNapel's colorful illustrations are filled with energy and life, and they use shade and silhouettes to great advantage. The planned film adaptation made by Disney and starring Hugh Jackman means that this book is bound to have an extra surge in popularity, so it's probably a good idea to buy it now and get in on the ground floor. Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
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Frank Gallows, a weary officer from the Supernatural Immigration Task Force, and Garth Hale, a young boy with an unspecified incurable disease, are the dual heroes in this ghost-driven graphic novel. When Frank sends a troublesome horse skeleton back over to the afterlife, he accidentally zaps the boy along as well. The sinister ruler of Ghostopolis feels threatened by the boy (who, naturally, has all sorts of off-the-charts latent powers) and sends his buggy minions after him. Frank enlists the help of an ex-flame (who’s also a ghost) to cross over to the other side and rescue the boy. Sure, there’s a lot of characters with not a lot of characterization and a few too many good-for-you messages poking out from all the madcap antics, juvenile jokes, and overblown dramatics, but all in all, the story is a good blend of creepy, grotesque, and wacky. He’s got a few lumps to work out as a storyteller, but TenNapel—best known as the creator of the cross-platform character, Earthworm Jim—is a terrific cartoonist and in fine form here. Grades 5-8. --Ian Chipman