cover image Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist

Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist

David Almond, illus. by Dave McKean. Candlewick, $17.99 (80p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0160-4

Opening with an introduction from Almond describing the deaths of his sister when he was seven and his father when he 15, as well as his childhood interest in the occult, this sophisticated graphic novel is an exploration of life, death, and meaning. Davie is ready to brush off Joe Quinn’s claim that he’s “got a poltergeist,” considering that Joe and his mother are known for making up stories, but after visiting the Quinn house, he can’t deny the very real flying plates and shattered windows. Disturbed by the experience and his growing belief in the supernatural, Davie consults his mother and the new Irish priest, who doesn’t seem to believe in God. As he confronts his confusion, grief, and shifting worldview, Davie comes to accept that he and the poltergeist are inextricably linked. McKean’s frenetic, ever-shifting mixed-media illustrations dramatically convey Davie’s experiences and story’s vivid characters, evoking a distinct sense of disquiet, while Almond’s text propels the plot and provides deeper meaning. Gripping and philosophical, this collaboration will prompt discussion. Ages 12–up. [em](Sept.) [/em]