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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review: Lola: A Ghost Story by J. Torres

Jesse sees dead people, monsters, demons, and lots of other things that go bump in the night that no one else can see. No one except his ailing grandmother - a woman who used her visions to help those living in her small town... the same rural community in all the scary stories Jesse's heard as a child. Man-eating ogres in trees. Farmhouses haunted by wraiths. Even pigs possessed by the devil. Upon his grandmother's passing, Jesse has no choice but to face his demons and whatever else might be awaiting him at grandma's house.

What the summary doesn't mention is that Jesse's grandma's house is in the Philippines. A lot of what makes this story so rich is the folklore from the community that Jesse's family passes onto him. It's through these folktales that Jesse begins to see the gift in what he has always thought of as a burden.

What also makes this story unique are the gorgeous illustrations. They're monochromatic and simple but really effective. The story itself, of Jesse gradually accepting his 'gift', was really moving and interesting too - a good story of family and the things that you may or may not want to come to terms with.

It's classified as a children's graphic novel, but I think it's a good read for anyone. The ghost story part is creepy enough to keep kids entranced but it was the parts with Jesse's family that really moved me. Recommended!

review from library copy

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