Julia feels a ghostly presence on her 13th birthday, and discovers that her parents have a secret: she had a twin who died at birth. Her sister has now come back as a ghost "to be part of the family." When she saves her sibling's life, Julia happily declares her a "guardian angel." The characters are generic, the plot is simplistic and predictable, and the drawings are stiff and blandly colored. The story also includes dated technology that undermines any credibility it might have with today's readers: Julia receives a Walkman for her birthday, and her father films home videos on cassette. The book ends with discussion questions and writing prompts. Dull, didactic co-options of the graphic-novel format like this could drive reluctant readers away from comics as well as traditional prose.
Lisa GoldsteinCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.