The sad ghost club 2 by Lize Meddings
This graphic novel is about a couple of ghosts (which although they are illustrated as ghosts, seems like a metaphor for people who do not want to be in the limelight, who are quiet, shy and hide away due to worry and darker days), who meet and begin to form a friendship.
Very quickly we see that Socks is struggling. They talk of their trouble being around people and it is easy to see that they overthink everything that happens around them. SG (the other Ghost) is a bit more outgoing and tries very hard to make Socks feel comfortable, however unfortunately in their mission to find other like them, they overwhelm Socks and they go home to bed, not surfacing for a number of days.
Essentially I think this book is about depression, the realities of hard days and loneliness but also of friendship and how finding someone who gets you and will listen is so important. The Sad Ghost Club 2 explicitly deals with someone who doesn't want to get out of bed or answer the phone for days, how they go back over every single thing they say, do or experience and how a simple thing can become very overwhelming.
These topics are presented in a graphic novel form, and although there are lots of textless images, or minimal text this book says a lot. As I was reading it I imagined middle school to upper secondary students (even young adults) accessing this text and being able to identify with the characters and how they were feeling. It gives simple strategies such as going for a walk, getting out of bed, trying a yummy food as examples of ways to improve your day and then goes to finding your tribe of people who are similar to you, and being able to form connections and friendships whilst being your true self.
I think this book would be a great addition to any secondary library, and even though it is very simple it easily puts its message on the page for the reader to engage with. The illustrations are to be commended as they are the true hero of this book. There are lots of pages with no or minimal words, however the pictures really do tell a thousand words when you begin to look closely and put it all together. It would be a great to study as part of a literacy topic or through Health lessons.
Themes: Depression, Loneliness, Friendship.