Is anything ever going to be the same? That's what Catrina is asking herself as she and her parents and her younger sister, Maya, are driving up the coast of California to their new home in Bahia de la Luna. Cat is leaving behind her friends and her school and all things familiar. She doesn't want to complain because she knows this new salt air town will help her little sister with her cystic fibrosis.
Cat lives with a ghost. It's her fear of losing her Maya. Cat hears Maya struggle to breathe and she watches her sister don the vest that jiggles her around and insert the tube that sends food straight into Maya's stomach through a permanent port.
When the the family arrives and unpacks, the two girls head out to explore their new neighborhood and quickly find themselves with an invitation to go on a ghost tour. Seems Bahia de la Luna is home to many ghosts. They are known and accepted. Everyone knows they are there.
For Cat the ghosts are a frightening harbinger of what might be her sister's fate. She doesn't want to deal with the thought of losing Maya. She struggles against knowing the ghosts are there and risking seeing one.
Maya is full of laughter and curiosity and eagerly goes to see the place where the ghosts might appear. Her cystic fibrosis is part of her life and she simply deals with it wearing the vest that shakes her and calmly having her feeding tube inserted into her stomach so she'll get the nutrients her body needs.
So, a new town, a new house, new friends, a first crush, the old fear of losing her sister are all woven togehter in Cat's world. Exploring the traditions her mother brings from her Mexican heritage sets a unique tone. This likable family has wonderful traditions, foods and ancestry.
As Maya accepts her reality, it's Cat's journey to discover the connections she has with the ghosts of Bahia. Great coming of age story.
978-0545540612 Ages 8-12 240 pages
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com