Violet Ghosts

Leah Thomas. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0463-0
In 2002, 15-year-old Dani, who is transgender and white, worries about telling his best and only friend, Sarah—the sardonic ghost of a brown-skinned teenage murder victim, who distrusts men, having been killed by one—that he’s a boy. Abused by his now-estranged father, Dani has felt emboldened by Sarah’s righteous anger since their meeting four years back, and he doesn’t know how to cope with his trauma without her constant presence under his bed or possessing his Game Boy. As the two begin to rescue the ghosts of other female murder victims in their small Michigan town, and Dani develops a healthy friendship with Japanese American Seiji, he realizes that he and Sarah are keeping one another from finding peace. A few loose threads are left dangling and one significant plot point is underexplored, but Thomas (Because You’ll Never Meet Me) writes complex characters, all of whom have experienced trauma, with compassion, deftly exploring the ways in which codependency can obstruct healing. Early-2000s references create a memorable atmosphere and clever metaphors in this dark, thoughtful ghost story. Ages 14–up. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/15/2021
Release date: 06/08/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-5476-0464-7
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-5476-0992-5
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