3rd Grade and Up
Catrina and her family have moved to the coast of Northern California for the sake of her little sister, Maya, who has cystic fibrosis – and Cat is even less happy about the move when she is told that her new town is inhabited by ghosts, and Maya sets her heart on meeting one.
As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones’ approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.
This is the first time I’ve read about someone who has cystic fibrosis (It took me awhile to pronounce this right). Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, making breathing difficult and leading to frequent infections. Some of the treatments Maya goes through really freaked me out (take note that many things freak me out). For example, she has to have extra nutrition delivered through a port in her belly while she sleeps because cystic fibrosis affects digestion and she doesn’t get enough nutrients from food. And later on, Maya has to wear a breathing tube to administer more oxygen. My grandmother wears a breathing tube and it has always disturbed me, I don’t like seeing people with tubes in them. There is still no cure of cystic fibrosis but treatments have improved in recent years. The really sad thing is that Maya knows that her disease is eventually going to kill her and she says one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard, “It’s not like I’m ever going to get better. So why not let me have fun while I can?” Nobody should die before they get a chance to live.
Catrina is really scared of the ghosts but I think it’s because she’s scared that the ghosts are going to take her sister away and that’s understandable.
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is an ancient tradition that is now largely celebrated in Mexico and throughout the world. Instead of mourning the people who are gone, they celebrate and honor the dead at the beginning of November, building altars (ofrendas) in homes, parks, and cemeteries, and decorating them with flowers, food, photographs, and other personal items. That’s why I like the Day of the Dead, it’s all about celebrating loved ones’ memories, that way they aren’t really gone.
If you loved the movies ‘Book of Life’ and ‘Coco’, you’ll love this book. Interesting fact: I actually met Jorge R. Gutierrez, the man who wrote and directed ‘Book of Life’. He’s really cool and I got his autograph! I asked him if I could get a free ticket to his next movie. He said no.
This weeks’ Weird but True Fact about Dia de los Muertos
Dia de los Muertos is a colorful two-day holiday that celebrates life and honors the dead. The tradition comes from the Aztec and continues today in Mexico.