cover image Séance Tea Party

Séance Tea Party

Reimena Yee. Random House Graphic, $20.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-984894-15-1

Ghosted by friends, Lora Xi, 12, befriends a ghost in this middle grade debut. While her pals have begun caring about “who’s popular or what’s trendy,” Lora remains fascinated with “all weird stuff”—the Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot, ghost hauntings, and the like. Alone on her Halloween Eve birthday, Lora performs a séance tea party. Though not expecting results, Lora draws the attention of Alexa, a spirit who haunts Lora’s home, boasts various supernatural powers, and was Lora’s imaginary friend growing up. Together, they embark on a joint journey of self-discovery: Lora examines why she’s afraid to mature like her peers, and Alexa, without memories, investigates her past and reflects on why she befriended generations of children. As they work through their emotional obstacles together, Alexa encourages Lora to explore her identity, which gives Alexa room to realize her own need to grow. Strong sequential panels in lineless, full-color art convey expressive characters and keep a consistent pace, while tender, picturesque splash pages slow things, allowing cathartic moments to breathe. With her middle grade debut, Yee creates a moving tale that emphasizes the importance of embracing one’s quirks—and finding friends who do the same. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Jen Linnan, Linnan Literary Management. (Sept.) [/em]