Ghosts and Girls
Books for spooky season and for the sometimes scary job of growing up
Haunted Legacy: City of the Undead
From “Interview with a Vampire” to tales of voodoo, above-ground cemeteries, haunted alleys and taverns, New Orleans remains a city linked with ghost stories and mysteries. In “City of the Undead,” author Robin Ann Roberts explores the history of the city, its tragic connection with death, plague and enslavement, and the impact of those touchpoints on the legacy of supernatural spirituality that holds to today. It’s a careful look at a disturbing past, and how tales of the paranormal have transformed how generations have embraced and coped with racism, sexism and oppression. Plus, she tells a great ghost story or two along the way. Paperback, 200 pages, $24.95.
Growing Up: The Hurricane Girls
“The Hurricane Girls” follows the lives of three best friends navigating growing up and growing together despite challenges beyond their control. Seventh graders Greer, Joya Mia and Kiki, all born in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, navigate tragedy when Greer’s sister is paralyzed by an accident. The trio must learn how to deal with their own issues of family, pain and loss, body insecurity and forgiveness, while sticking together as friends. Award-winning YA author Kimberly Willis Holt (National Book Award – Winner, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Booklist Editors’ Choice, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year) received praise for “The Hurricane Girls,” from Booklist, The Horn Book, starred review, and from fellow award-winning author Deborah Wiles, who said the book is “A tender and triumphant story about friendship and family, in a proud and resilient city.” Hardcover, 288 pages, $16.99.
Dear Diary: A Girl’s Life in New Orleans
From attending concerts to hanging out with friends, discussing the latest fashion and “who did what with whom,” teens have always had many issues to write about in their diaries. “A Girl’s Life in New Orleans” follows one such teen, Ella Grunewald, as she navigates growing up in the late 1800s. Many issues, such as friendships and school, may be familiar to today, and some offer a glimpse into the past as Ella writes about the 1884 World’s Fair, Carnival balls and tragedies from illness and death. Editor Hans Rasmussen, head of Special Collections Technical Services at LSU Libraries in Baton Rouge, puts Ella’s story expertly into context and provides readers with an in-depth look at life from one young girl’s point of view. Hardcover, 192 pages, $35.
All Treats, No Tricks: A Haunted Ghost Tour
“A Haunted Ghost Tour in Louisiana” follows Little Ghost and the entire Ghost family as they trick and treat themselves through (not-so) spooky stops throughout Louisiana. From “haunted” boat rides to museum visits, swamp tours and more, there’s plenty of fun for all. Plus, young readers can interact with a “find the ghost” game hidden throughout. Written by Louise Martin and illustrated with bright, fun fall colors by Gabriele Tafuni, the Ghost family’s tour will scare up some good fun for any beginner reader. Hardcover, 40 pages, $11.99.
Past and Present: Po-Boy
While Louisiana is known for many culinary dishes, perhaps one of the most iconic must be the humble and ubiquitous po-boy. More than a sub, not quite a hoagie, the po-boy is forever linked to mom-and-pop shops, lunch counters and local dining stops throughout New Orleans and across the state. “Po’Boy” by New Orleans journalist Burke Bischoff takes a look at the sandwich’s history during the streetcar strikes in 1929, what fillings are best and most loved, and why that special bread is so important. As award-winning chef, restauranteur and po-boy afficionado Mason Hereford declared, “Perfect subject matter! Ain’t many topics as near and dear to me as sandwiches, and few things soothe my soul like a dressed shrimp or oyster po’boy with some hot sauce and a cold beer on a sunny day in New Orleans!” Paperback, 120 pages, $21.95.