Oni. Mar. 2021. 320p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781620107881.
Gr 8 Up–In Sheets, Thummler explored teenage social dilemmas, grief, and even class conflict within the bounds of a haunted Laundromat. Her follow-up matches the tone and complexity of its predecessor. Marjorie, a white teen who in Sheets grappled with bullying and being forced to step up after the death of her mother, is gaining confidence at school while remaining friends with Wendell, one of the sheet-shaped ghosts at her family’s laundry business. In the span of a few tentative encounters, however, the book pivots to the story of her classmate Eliza, a Black teen who is sinking into loneliness and depression and feeling like a living ghost. Marjorie must weigh whether to help a peer and risk her own social status, while Eliza faces the task of claiming her own strangeness so as to not lose her sense of self. Thummler’s shaky, slightly elongated figures interact in muted neon illustrations, conveying adolescent emotion. With illustrations that match the often dreamy, multilayered narrative, this tale depicts the interplay between inner turmoil and external pressures with an aching accuracy that provides a powerful lens readers might use to observe their own difficult experiences.
VERDICT A strong second foray into Marjorie and Wendell’s slightly spooky world, this tale will be best appreciated by readers who can maturely manage difficult content about depression and suicidal thoughts.

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