Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ANYA'S GHOST by Vera Brosgol Kirkus Star


by Vera Brosgol & illustrated by Vera Brosgol

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: June 7th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59643-552-0
Publisher: First Second/Roaring Brook

A deliciously creepy page-turning gem from first-time writer and illustrator Brosgol finds brooding teenager Anya trying to escape the past—both her own and the ghost haunting her.

Anya feels out of place at her preppy private school; embarrassed by her Russian heritage, she has worked hard to lose her accent and to look more like everyone else. After a particularly frustrating morning at the bus stop, Anya storms off, only to accidentally fall down a well. Down in the dark hole, she meets Emily, a ghost who claims to be a murder victim trapped down in the dank abyss for 90 years. With Emily’s help, Anya manages to escape, though once free, she learns that Emily has traveled out with her. At first, Emily seems like the perfect friend; however, once her motives become clear, Anya learns that “perfect” may only be an illusion. A moodily atmospheric spectrum of grays washes over the clean, tidy panels, setting a distinct stage before the first words appear. Brosgol’s tight storytelling invokes the chilling feeling of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (2002), though for a decidedly older set. In addition to the supernatural elements, Brosgol interweaves some savvy insights about the illusion of perfection and outward appearance.

A book sure to haunt its reader long after the last past is turned—exquisitely eerie. (Graphic supernatural fiction. 12 & up)