I saw this graphic novel in a list of Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and was curious—what about this book would appeal to kids of the computer game generation, and would it appeal to me as well?
The story is fast-paced and well drawn. Garth seems to be a pretty typical kid, though we find out quickly that he has an incurable disease. He’s reading in his room when a night mare jumps through the wall.
Unfortunately for Garth, an agent of the Supernatural Immigration Task Force, Frank Gallows, chooses that moment to hook cuffs on the ghost horse and send it back to Ghostopolis. His mom watches in horror as Garth disappears…
While Frank is getting into all sorts of trouble for being careless, a rescue team is assembling to bring Garth home. Frank decides to try to save Garth on his own and enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend.
Meanwhile Garth is exploring the ghost world with “Skinny,” the friendly night mare. One of the first ghosts he meets is his grandfather, whom Garth never met in his human life. Grandpa will help Garth make it back to the world of the living, if they can just stay out of trouble.
The story ends with a showdown between the good guys (Garth, Frank, and their friends) and the bad guy (the ruler of Ghostopolis). Not too much of a stretch to figure out who will win… but getting to that point is fun. I loved that regular physics didn’t apply to the humans in Ghostopolis and Frank has to “imagine that I have an imagination!” in order to help Garth with the battle.
Ghostopolis is recommended for ages 8-10, but young adults and those young at heart will enjoy it as well. The plot is easy to follow and has enough humor and complexities to keep all ages turning pages. I think the pictures are gruesome enough to keep it just on the edge of being scary. So yes, I can see how it would appeal to reluctant young adult readers. And I know I enjoyed it!
Check the WRL catalog for Ghostopolis