Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Anyone who grew up in the 80s (yes, I’m dating myself now), will recognize this refrain. It’ll also probably bring up an image of a giant marshmallow traipsing through New York City. So, of course, I couldn’t resist the title when I saw it on display in the bookstore.
I’m not one of those movie buffs who remember details from a movie in vivid details. (Actually, I can’t do it with books either.) In some ways, that helped me read this book with a fresh eye – as to whether or not a new young generation will enjoy this title. And the answer is no.
There’s still Peter, Ray, Winston and Egon, the team of four who troll New York City for ghosts. (Okay, so mostly, they find the ghosts through phone calls to their headquarters, which is manned by a ditzy secretary.) They’re working hard to eradicate all the ghosts in New York. They start out trying to save a haunted Broadway show, but rather than zap the ghost, they actually try to assuage him. They end up being duped and trapped by vengeful ghosts who just want to remain ghosts – and finally they overcome the fashion devil who designs clothes that suck the life and soul out of good people.
The comic has its funny moments, but mostly it’s riddled with clichés. It’s no wonder my copy was due December 17 and I only finished it today on January 14th. (Thank goodness I don’t pay overdue fines!) Most of all, I’m not sure young teens will get excited about the pop culture craze of the eighties. It’s perhaps a bit of a nostalgic read for those of you in my age group, but most teens won’t really care for this title. I predict a shelf sitter.
(For those of you who suddenly feel nostalgic for the movie, you can stream it live on hulu.)
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.
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