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MARLY’S GHOST by David Levithan


by David Levithan & illustrated by Brian Selznick

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8037-3063-2
Publisher: Dial

Sixteen-year-old Ben has shut down because Marly, his girlfriend of three years, has died after a long illness. Ben never wants to love again—or interact with anyone. “Love is a humbug,” he says; it always ends badly. The night before Valentine’s Day, Marly’s ghost appears, telling him he’ll be visited, that night, by three more spirits. Valentine’s Past, Present and Future visit showing him shadows of the Was and Might Be. And Ben, Ebenezer actually, has a change of heart. Levithan’s fresh spin on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol keeps most scenes and characters in one form or another. Fred and Sarah are Ben and Marly’s best friends. Freshmen Tiny and Tim are a gay couple in the blush of new love. Selznick bases his wonderful pen-and-ink illustrations on the original engravings. With nary a reference to the original in the text, this remix of the classic will likely be adored by those young enough not to be tired of Christmas Carols past—especially teen girls. A great addition to the literature of the (Valentine’s) holiday season. (Fiction. YA)