Anya's Ghost

Anya's Ghost

Unknown - 2011 | First edition.
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Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part . . .

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who's been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend--even a ghost--is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks.
Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya's Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut graphic novel from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

This title has Common Core connections.

Anya's Ghost is a 2011 Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year title.
One of School Library Journal 's Best Fiction Books of 2011.
One of Horn Book 's Best Fiction Books of 2011.
Winner of the 2012 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Young Adults (Ages 12-17)

Publisher: New York : First Second, 2011.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781596435520
Branch Call Number: YA Brosg
Characteristics: 221 pages : illustrations


From Library Staff

This story actually took an interesting turn. Anya saves a little girl from the bottom of a well, but it turns out the little girl was actually a little ghost! Anya thinks her new friend is just what she needs to deal with loneliness, but will this new friend cause more harm than good?

In this snarkily sincere graphic novel, Anya falls down a well and finds an unexpected new BFF – the undead, and truly forever kind.

From the critics

Community Activity


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Sep 13, 2019

This was an A+ book. I loved the plot line, it was really unique. In this Graphic Novel Anya accidentally falls down an abandoned well one day while ditching school. In this well she discovers the bones of a girl who died from falling into the same well. How does Anya find all this out, from the ghost of the girl Emily, who has been living in the well of course! Emily has been trapped for half a century and Anya is her first human contact since she died. Some things happen and Anya gets rescued, but when she is rescued Anya accidentally ends up taking one of Emily's bones home with her, and thus begins the haunting! This book starts out light and happy, and then quickly turns sinister, and rather dangerous for Anya and her family. I feel like this would be a good graphic novel to read around Halloween time, even though it's not that scary. Anyway this book has some twists, and it just ended up being a really fun read, with a great message. At the end Anya learns the valuable lesson that comparison is the killer of happiness, etc. I just think this book has an awesome message, one that everyone could benefit from learning, especially in this social media era, where comparison is constantly pushed on us. It was honestly a message I wasn't expecting from the plot line...but it worked really well! You will just have to read this graphic novel to see how she stumbles upon this epiphany.

Aug 09, 2019

Anya is a student who really wants to fit in and meet all of society's expectations of her. She struggles with self confidence and worries a lot about her body image. It takes meeting a ghost with a tragic, mysterious story for Anya to figure out who she is and how important her family is. I liked the spookiness of this book and it demonstrated some of the challenges teenagers face at school that they might not feel comfortable talking to their family about. I also liked the use of black, white and grey in this book since it helped with the spooky feeling.

ArapahoeMaryA Jul 27, 2019

Disclaimer: I'm neither a graphic novel aficionado, nor a fan of creepy ghost stories. That said, this oddball protagonist is surprisingly endearing. Heavy subject matter, so readers be advised.

ArapahoeSarahD Jun 25, 2019

This book starts of innocently enough and ramps up quickly! Warning: There is mention of murder, smoking, underage drinking and sex.

Jan 30, 2019

I like the book it was creepy and ok, but l don't like the "oh my God business" and I'm a Christian and yikes, bad words= not cool. And plus, smoking is not good.

Andrew Kyle Bacon
Nov 16, 2018

I love the graphic novel/comic book medium, but all books in this medium suffer the same problem: they aren't long enough. This fault is definitely true of "Anya's Ghost," which, because of its short length and quick pace, lacks in depth and development. Unfortunately, just about the time the story gets interesting, the book wraps itself up and ends.

That said, there is a turn in the narrative mid-way through the book and I never saw it coming. I just wish more had been done with it. In my opinion, the book ends just as it gets most interesting, which is really frustrating. Overall, I think the book has some good stuff to say about being a teenage kid. The message is overall pretty positive, which I like.

I will definitely seek out more by the author though. The art is pretty terrific.

SnoIsleLib_MonicaJ Aug 09, 2018

High school, body image, fitting into American culture as an immigrant - Anya is dealing with many growing pains. When she meets a ghost girl she has a new friend - but is there something more sinister behind this bizarre occurrence? Quirky, fun read for teens and adults.

ArapahoeTina Jul 27, 2018

A debut graphic novel that hits all the right notes to create a spooky tale that also conveys the immigrant experience of a young adult.

Dec 12, 2017

This graphic novel really surprised me. I went in not knowing much about the story or the author (actually it was recommended by a booktuber named Zoe)- it sounded interesting so I thought I would order it from the library. It was pretty amazing and I highly recommend it. I loved the art style and the flow of the story. The main character was a believable high school girl, different and trying to fit in. I loved how she came from Russia, and she had a normal body type- she wasn't just a rail thin white girl that everyone automatically fell in love with. It made the story more tangible, and it felt different than anything else that I've read. The ghost story was intriguing and the way Anya dealt with the ghost was interesting as well. The twist got me for sure- I won't give it away here, but it was handled nicely and ended appropriately- it had a bit of Supernatural (the TV show) flair to it. If you're looking for a quick, engaging paranormal graphic novel, this is definitely what you should pick up.

Nov 11, 2017

I really enjoyed this book, it was a quick read that sucked me in. I was a bit disappointed when I reached the end because I wanted more. Teen angst, mystery, young love (or misguided crushes), ghosts, and drama all rolled into one magnificent read. The writing and illustrations worked well together in this graphic novel, the muted colors giving an impression of gloom. The plot keeps the reader engaged and though the basic plot has been done before the author keeps it fresh with a new twist.

Developing your own identity and being comfortable within your own skin is the main theme I pulled from this book, but bullying, underage smoking, lying, and cheating are also themes and lessons that can be addressed with this book.

Read-a-likes for this book include: Page by Paige by Laura Gulledge, Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel, and Americus by Jonathan Reed.

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Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Aug 31, 2019

blue_dog_39250 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Feb 27, 2019

black_rabbit_207 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

SnoIsleLib_MonicaJ Aug 09, 2018

SnoIsleLib_MonicaJ thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 03, 2017

SenaDoling thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

RobertELPL Mar 06, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

tvkia May 29, 2016

tvkia thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

violet_panda_1496 Sep 27, 2014

violet_panda_1496 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

eldynarzu Jul 30, 2014

eldynarzu thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 15 and 87

Belinda_babe Jan 27, 2014

Belinda_babe thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Angie1046 Oct 28, 2013

Angie1046 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Add Notices
Feb 27, 2019

Frightening or Intense Scenes: chasing and attempted murder

Feb 27, 2019

Violence: murder

Jun 03, 2017

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Frightening chase scene involving the Main Character and several murder attempts

May 22, 2017

Coarse Language: Has a few bad words

didi115 Jul 07, 2012

Other: It can scare kids under the age of 13.

Ólive May 19, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: it can be scary for kids.


Add a Quote
ArapahoeMaryA Jul 26, 2019

I could lose myself forever in that dark hair and those sweet love handles.

eldynarzu Jul 30, 2014

it mad good
You might not know who you are until an unexpected person or thing shows you who you are and how you have become.

Lexxis Jul 20, 2012

Secrets hiddin

darkph0enix13 Jul 07, 2012

“Why can't I just Google it like everything else?! I hate you public library system!” ~ Anya

didi115 Jul 07, 2012

You might not know who you are until an unexpected person or thing shows you who you are and how you have become.

BrooklynFencingGirl13 Jun 14, 2012

Please Miss, you have to wake up right now!


Add a Summary
HELEN W NASEEF Aug 09, 2012

this book is about a girl who is trying smoking to fit in high school by smoking and not doing well in school. she has a huge crush on this popular guy in high school who already has a girlfriend. so one day she was walking on her way home and than she felt in a hole. while she was smoking she saw a ghost. they started talking the ghost seemed nice when she got out of the hole she realizes that she had one of the bones of the ghost's skeleton in her bag the ghost started to help her with some tests ab boy problems. until she finds out the truth that the ghost was a murderer so she tries t o get her out of her life because she tried to hurt her family but finally Anya got rid of her which Anya learned her lesson.

didi115 Jul 07, 2012

This book is about a girl who finds her mother humiliating and was picked on because she comes from a different place. one day she finds herself stuck in an hole with a ghost who claims that she was murdered, but as she helps Anya with tests and boy issues. She tries to control her and Anya finds out the truth about her. the ghost tries to kill her mother, she finds the bone which the ghost is attracted to and throws it back down the whole. and she realized something they had a short conversation which set the ghost free.

jodianmorgan Jun 25, 2012

this book is about a girl being bullied at school and just simply wants to fit in. she would do anything in her power to fit in including starving herself and all that stuff. but then she is put in a situation where love, trust and her family in on the line. 'anya's ghost' is a book that you dont want to miss out on!

whiteshadow13 May 22, 2012

Anya, embarrassed by her Russian immigrant family and self-conscious about her body, has given up on fitting in at school but falling down a well and making friends with the ghost there just may be worse.

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