288p. 978-0-54521-027-0.
RedReviewStarGr 7 Up—When readers first meet Garth Hale, he is about to receive the fifth diagnosis that his disease is incurable. How fitting, then, that a boy who thinks about death more than other kids his age should be accidentally zapped into the afterlife. When washed-up ghost wrangler Frank Gallows realizes that he accidentally sent Garth through to the other side, he does everything in his power to rescue him. Meanwhile, Garth explores the spirit world with a skeleton horse, a variety of terrifying and fantastic creatures, and some family members whom he never expected to meet. TenNapel mixes emotional epiphanies with humor in a way that will appeal to a broad audience. Characters experience personal growth and learn lessons about themselves throughout the course of this book, but these lessons feel integral to the plot rather than forced down readers' throats. TenNapel's colorful illustrations are filled with energy and life, and they use shade and silhouettes to great advantage. The planned film adaptation made by Disney and starring Hugh Jackman means that this book is bound to have an extra surge in popularity, so it's probably a good idea to buy it now and get in on the ground floor.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Terminally ill Garth is accidentally zapped into the spirit world by ghost wrangler Frank Gallows. Once there, Garth discovers he has special powers that may be key to returning balance to the warring factions of the spirit world. Richly imagined, this graphic novel, illustrated with vivid cartoon panels that clearly support the action, is as unpredictable as it is quirky.
The world of Ghostopolis is wildly inventive and yet strangely plausible, incorporating such different visions of the afterlife as skeletons, zombies, mummies, wisps, and specters. Doug TenNapel’s art is quirky and bold, with an improvised quality that nicely fits the fast-paced, unpredictable story. Readers figure out Ghostopolis’s world alongside Garth, which increases sympathy for this lonely character and keeps the story full of surprises. Garth’s relationship with his grandfather adds a touching element.

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