Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee. RH Graphic, 2020. 9781984894151
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? Twelve year old Lora Xi does not want to grow up, at least, not in the way many of her friends are. She wants to stay in the cozy world of her imagination, where little fantastical creatures abound and she can pretend to her heart’s content. When she accidentally summons the ghost of her childhood imaginary friend, Alexa, during a personal séance, she is delighted to once again have the company of someone who shares her love of pretend adventures. At Halloween, Lora runs into Sunni, an older girl who was her mentor a few years back, and she finds herself actually having a good time with a group of teens who are not afraid to play silly games. Is this the beginning of coming to terms with retaining her playful kid side as a big kid? On the other hand, Alexa starts to revisit her past of the 1970’s, and starts to feel like she is ready to let go of being a ghost. But can Lora survive without her?
This is a sweet, non-scary, supernatural coming of age story, with a completely diverse set of characters when it comes to race, size and orientation. Lora’s personal crisis is so relatable. The world of her imagination is lovingly portrayed by the whimsical digital art. I especially liked the part where Alexa finds her childhood friend, a children’s book writer in her 60’s, who helps her find closure in life.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? For middle graders who enjoyed Kate O’Neill’s The Tea Dragon Society and Lorena Alvarez Gomez’s Nightlights and other light fantasy graphic novels.
Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Graphic novel fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: February 7, 2021