Sheets by Brenna Thummler

Marjorie Glatt hates laundry.

Marjorie runs her family's laundry business - Glatt's Laundry. She comes in everyday after school to clean, fold, and deal with pushy customers like Mr. Saubertuck; a shady businessman who wants to buy up Glatt's Laundry.

Marjorie Glatt hates ghosts.

Ghosts are impossible things. If ghosts were real why wouldn't her mom's ghost visit her? Marjorie, her little brother, and her dad could use her. Her father's retreated, almost like he died when his wife did too. Her brother doesn't understand the responsibility that falls on Marjorie's shoulders or why his dad hardly leaves his room.

Wendell is a ghost.

Wendell doesn't fit in the ghost world. He won't talk about how he really died. He's losing memories of the human world but not enough that he doesn't take a chance to fit in somewhere else.

Sheets does truly captivate you. The illustrations, writing, and atmosphere details a small, sleepy town. Marjorie fits right in this slow moving town. You can see the sadness and apprehension in the way she carries herself and the look on her face. She's missing her mom who died last spring and is faced with too much responsibility while her father silently deals with his loss. Sheets lends itself to younger teens (13-14) in the way that Wendell converses with fellow ghosts and later Marjorie. You can tell he is young and Marjorie is too. There is a very sad but hopeful feeling to the story that I would have enjoyed at that age and that I do now. I can always appreciate when a story centered for someone younger than me can still be enjoyed by me.

Now let's get back to the dad. I know the feeling of a dad who is depressed at a young age. You don't know what's going on really. It's a confusing and sad time. I thought Thummler did an excellent job painting this picture without overdoing it.

Mr. Saubertuck, the businessman who wants to buy Glatt's Laundry, was a big part of the plot. He was made out to be a comical sort of villain. You didn't really take him seriously but then you kind of had to.

Wendell, the ghost, of course is another big part of the story. He has in his own story that you have to figure out. It's like that with Marjorie and Mr. Saubertuck too. You learn some unexpected things. Wendell's journey had him having to come to terms with his passing. Marjorie had to do the same but with her mom as well as one other thing that I'll let you figure out. Mr. Saubertuck had a mysterious background (like who is this guy?) that you uncovered the deeper you got into the story.

One last person I wanted to point out was the gym teacher. He was very kind to Marjorie and it pulled on my heartstrings when everything comes together. I loved his addition to the story.

Thummler did an amazing job with this story about ghosts, loss, friendship, and acceptance. A really beautiful story with the one flaw being having dialogue or moments with Wendell that just felt too young for me.