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Graveyard Shakes by Laura Terry

Graveyard Shakes (edition 2017)

by Laura Terry (Author)

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Title:Graveyard Shakes
Authors:Laura Terry (Author)
Info:Graphix (2017), 208 pages
Collections:Your library

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Graveyard Shakes by Laura Terry



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When Katia and Victoria get to their new boarding school, things are not exactly has they planned. Older sister Victoria tries desperately to fit in while Katia is spiritedly independent. While the girls are living their very alive lives, a dark world teams deep beneath the nearby graveyard. The brokenhearted Nikola is searching for a soul to harvest in order to keep his wasting son among the living. When Katia runs away after a fight with her sister, she finds herself in the clutches of the distraught Nikolai. Victoria must then join forces with a very helpful Little Ghost to save her sister and, in turn, find comfort in her own identity. In Graveyard Shakes, Laura Terry has created a tale of identity and friendship with a spooky atmosphere perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier. All main characters appear to be white; Victoria is depicted with a lean figure while Katia is a bit more muscular. While it is unlikely Graveyard Shakes will inspire deep dinner table conversation, the tale does touch on family, friendship, self-acceptance and identity, love, and loss. Readers are likely to find themselves asking what exactly happens when we die and why would people become ghosts (if they are real, at all)? This is an ideal choice for late elementary and middle grade readers who want something scary, but not too scary. Get ready for the graveyard shakes!
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  ThatOneLibrarian | Aug 18, 2018 |
Continuing the trend of reading books selected for the Summer Reading program, I read Graveyard Shakes by Laura Terry. The reader follows two very different storylines that at the outset have no correlation to one another. The first revolves around two sisters who have newly arrived at a boarding school and are struggling to come to terms with their change of environment. The second focuses on a little ghost and his friend Modie (I don't know either) who as best as I can tell is a reanimated corpse. So on the one hand we are rooted in reality with a situation that seems very familiar: wanting to fit in yet also wanting to be recognized as the individual that you are. On the other hand, the supernatural elements of ghosts and zombies are compacted with horror because the only way that Modie can stay 'alive' is to absorb the soul of a dead (i.e. murdered) child. Yes, this is a middle grade graphic novel. (It is at this point that I have essentially 'sold' this book to the reluctant child reader standing in front of me while the parent stares at me open mouthed.) The good parts: The illustrative style was excellent and I really enjoyed the character journey of Victoria, the older sister. The not so good: It was way more disturbing and graphic than I expected plus the ending was entirely too predictable after all of the narrative build-up. While I did thoroughly enjoy the illustrations, I don't know that I'll be rushing out to read Terry's next work (unless the cover draws me in again). I didn't overwhelmingly dislike this book but I also didn't love it with all of my heart and soul (get outta here, Modie!). The little guys and ghouls in your life that love a good ghost story will probably fall head-over-heels for this one. 5/10 ( )
  AliceaP | Jul 10, 2018 |
A complex story for children about two sisters who are new to a boarding school, don't fit in, and get mixed up in the scheme of an evil scientist to keep his son alive. However, the plot line seemed a little dark for the age group 8-11. A scientist used ghost from the underworld to lure children to his home so that he can sacrifice the child to keep his own son alive. The ghost prayed on children who were alone. The story tells you repeatedly that the ghost can't hurt you however they did "kill" another ghost. Too many unanswered questions are within this book and everything in the end turned out "happy" without much explanation left me feeling this title was rushed. The book is just odd. The artwork however is amazing . ( )
  SWONclear | Jun 5, 2018 |
This is an interesting book. On the surface I want to say it's great with a strong message of accepting yourself and others. It shows bullying and kids trying to fit in. It shows siblings trying to find their places in the relationship, and parents dealing with loss. All the "right" things. However, mostly I just found it odd. The author didn't introduce characters well and I felt like I was reading a sequel. There are active relationships between ghosts, humans, and... half-dead, maybe? It's just weird. There's a happy ending and definitely a message of self-confidence and friendship. ( )
  Tessa.Johnson | Jan 5, 2018 |
Two stories run parallel in this debut graphic novel about making choices and being yourself. Sisters Katia and Victoria are attending boarding school after being homeschooled. Victoria is trying to fit in, hiding her love of sewing and working hard to be part of the activities while ignoring the bullying and snobbishness of the other kids. Her younger sister Katie, while musically talented is a wild child and refuses to go along with Victoria's plans, leading to a big fight between the sisters.

Meanwhile, a friendly ghost boy in the nearby cemetery is worried about his friend Modie. Neither dead nor alive, Modie is kept trapped in between by his father's dark magics, which require the periodic taking of another child's life every thirteen years. Now the most recent thirteen years are up - and Katia is in danger. It will take the combined efforts of the friendly Little Ghost, Victoria, Katia, and even Modie to keep Katia from becoming a victim of the dark wizard and his ghosts.

Terry has a brisk, colorful style that fits in well with what most of my kids like. A strong linear storyline, good coloring, and definite, sure lines. Parallels between Telgemeier and Jameison will of course be drawn, but Terry's creepy ghosts and creatures add a frisson of scary that's all her own. The story is a little overdrawn - it's hard to believe that so many of the other students are nasty and the teachers oblivious, not to mention the lack of interest in the periodic disappearance of children, but it's a fast-paced and action-packed story that will resonate both with devourers of graphic novels and those who feel on the outside of school cliques.

A theme of music runs through the book, which emphasizes the other theme of making choices. Katia has chosen to be who she is and not worry about fitting in or not. Friendly Little Ghost has chosen to retain some of his humanity, separating him from the other ghosts, since he keeps ties to the mortal world. Modie chooses to stop his father and accept his death, rather than continue stealing other children's lives to continue his existence. Victoria makes a choice between trying to pressure her sister to conform or support her for who she is.

Verdict: A good effort for a debut title. The parallel storylines are a little cramped and there are some threads left hanging at the end, but this is a good choice for kids who aren't old enough for Anya's Ghost and need some reassurance in embracing themselves - or for kids who like an action-packed graphic story.

ISBN: 9780545889551; Published October 10, 2017 by Scholastic Graphix; ARC provided by author; Purchased for the libraryGraveyard Shakes by Laura Terry
  JeanLittleLibrary | Dec 4, 2017 |
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Publisher Annotation: Katia and Victoria are sisters and scholarship students at a private boarding school. While Victoria tries to fit in, Katia is unapologetic about her quirks, even though their classmates tease her. After a big fight, Katia runs away from school. And when Victoria goes looking for her, she accidentally tumbles into the underworld of a nearby graveyard. It is inhabited by ghosts, ghouls, and a man named Nikola, who is preparing a sinister spell that's missing one key ingredient. Victoria teams up with adorable Little Ghost and Nikola's kindhearted son, and together they search for Katia. They must fin 208pp., Color Ill.… (more)

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