I love middle graphic graphic novels, so I was very excited to read Forever Home by Jenna Ayoub. This was an adorable read, though I do think it would function better as a weekly comic strip. I both wanted more from it and didn’t want to leave the ghostly characters behind!
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The summary, from Amazon:
Willow’s nomadic childhood takes a surprising turn as her military parents bring her to the historic Hadleigh House, where her chances of finding her permanent home aren’t looking good when she meets some unexpected occupants—GHOSTS!
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE (A HAUNTED) HOME.
Willow has never had a place she can call home. With two parents in the military and a nomadic childhood, finding a place to make her own has become a total pipe dream. And when the family arrives at their latest stop—the historic Hadleigh House—Willow encounters something that doesn’t help her chances of staying put…GHOSTS!
Hadleigh House’s spectral occupants have been scaring off would-be residents for decades, and they intend to keep the house to themselves. But Willow’s not about to let some nagging spirits force her to move for the millionth time. It’s just a matter of convincing Willow’s parents that this old house is the one for them—ghosts and all…
Acclaimed cartoonist Jenna Ayoub (Adventure Time) presents a heartfelt graphic novel about discovering new friends and new happiness in the place you least expect it.
Buy Forever Home here.
Forever Home is about Willow, a child who has grown up moving every two years because her parents are in the military. When they move to Hadleigh House, they promise that they are done moving and that this is their forever home. Willow is ecstatic until she discovers ghosts that only she can see. She’s not frightened by them, but they are determined to scare off the new homeowners, and her parents are annoyed by the noises and drafts. Willow sets out to convince the ghosts to knock it off and to make sure her parents know it’s ghosts causing the issues, not problems with the house.
This is an adorable read, but I think it would have functioned better as a weekly comic strip. Willow is pretty two-dimensional, but the ghosts have detailed histories I would love to learn more about and are absolutely hilarious. I both wanted more for this book and didn’t want to leave this characters behind.
My only real gripe with this book was a sexual harassment joke in the first few pages. It was silly and something I snickered at, but that’s not really something I like to see in a children’s book. I think adults can differentiate when a joke like that is just for humorous reasons, but it’s not really a good message to pass on to the kiddos.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and cute, though not perfect. The plot was pretty anticlimactic, with everything wrapping up neatly and quickly, though I will say that the ending was absolutely adorable.
I rate it 3 stars.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
Forever Home by Jenna Ayoub
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was an adorable book, but I think it would serve better as a weekly comic strip. The ghosts are all so loveable and interesting. The plot was anticlimactic, though.
Book Club Questions
- Why do the sisters want Willow and her family to leave the house?
- Which ghost was your favorite and why?
- When Willow says she has friends here, might she mean at school, or are the ghosts her friends? Why do you think that?
- How do you think it would feel to move so often, or if you have experienced this, how did/does it feel?
Interested? Buy Forever Home.
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