By: Remy Lai
Genre: YFW - Comic strip fiction / graphic novels
Published by: A&U Children's
Published: 01 Aug 2023
ISBN: 9781761065477


Twelve years ago, the boy and the girl lived. But one was supposed to die ...

July Chen sees ghosts. But her dad insists ghosts aren't real. So she pretends they don't exist. Which is incredibly difficult now as it's Hungry Ghost month, when the Gates of the Underworld open and dangerous ghosts run amok in the living world. When July saves a boy ghost from being devoured by a Hungry Ghost, he becomes her first ever friend. Except William is not a ghost. He's a wandering soul wavering between life and death. As the new friends embark on an adventure to return William to his body, they unearth a ghastly truth -for William to live, July must die.

Inspired by Chinese mythology, this resoundingly hopeful tale about friendship, sacrifice and the unseen world of ghosts is a dazzling heir to beloved Studio Ghibli classics.

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July Chen is a girl nobody notices - but she notices ghosts. Her Dad insists that they are not real, so July pretends not to.

Then she meets William Xiao. William is a lost soul who has had many near death experiences but survived.

In their attempt to remove William from the death register permanently, they discover anawful truth. July is not on the birth register at all! She was born on the day her mother died, and her Dad did a deal with two escorts, who take dead people to the underworld, to let July live…

But now the world is out of balance, and the only way to fix it is for either July or William to die. Can they somehow change this, and both live?

This is a fairly lighthearted graphic novel written by the incredibly talented Australian author and artist, Remy Lai, that is inspired by Chinese mythology. With themes of friendship, sacrifice, grief and the after life it is best suited to middle grade readers in upper primary or lower secondary.

Reviewed by Rob