Artist Brenna Thummler’s work has appeared in such publications as theWashington Post and the New York Times. In 2017, she adapted the beloved Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery into a graphic novel alongside writer Mariah Marsden. This August, Lion Forge is proud to release her debut original graphic novel, Sheets!
“There are times we all feel like ghosts, and not just in need of a good wash, but also invisible, different, or like we don’t belong. Sheets grew from this loneliness, and I learned to use storytelling as a way to step out of the dark,” says Brenna Thummler. “It is a tremendous honor to be able to share this story with readers, and to remind them that there are always ways to feel alive and visible, as long as they don’t stop looking.”
Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen-year-old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she’s worked for.
Wendell is a ghost. A boy who lost his life much too young, his daily routine features ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a dangerous need to seek purpose in the forbidden human world.
When their worlds collide, Marjorie is confronted by unexplainable disasters as Wendell transforms Glatt’s Laundry into his midnight playground, appearing as a mere sheet during the day. While Wendell attempts to create a new afterlife for himself, he unknowingly sabotages the life that Marjorie is struggling to maintain.
“Having been a fan of Brenna’s art since her gorgeous adaption of Anne of Green Gables, I knew her first original graphic novel was going to be beautifully drawn. But I was wholly unprepared for her delicate, atmospheric, and deeply heartfelt storytelling,” says Lion Forge executive editor, Andrea Colvin. “Sheets is something truly special; a story that manages to be both buoyant and melancholy, sorrowful and optimistic. Brenna’s soft art pulls you into Marjorie’s and Wendell’s worlds, slowly and then all at once, and you won’t want to let go.”
This beautiful and moving graphic novel illustrates the determination of a young girl to fight, even when all parts of her world seem to be conspiring against her. It proves that second chances are possible whether life feels over or life is over. But above all, Sheets is a story of the forgiveness and unlikely friendship that can only transpire inside a haunted laundromat.
“Brenna Thummler’s first original graphic novel is a reason to celebrate. She announced herself as an artist to reckon with when she illustrated Mariah Marsden’s adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. Now she’s illustrated her own story of ghosts and family, loneliness and laundromats. I’m sure you’ll be captivated, and as eager as I am to see what comes next!”—Brian Selznick, author of Wonderstruckand The Invention of Hugo Cabret
“For days after reading Brenna Thummler’s Sheets, I have been wandering my neighborhood, haunted, enchanted, and in need of freshly pressed clothing.”—Lemony Snicket, author of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events
"Gr 6 Up – Struggling to cope after the death of her mother, Marjorie has to look after her father, who has depression, and her little brother; attend high school; and run the family laundromat business, where they all live and work. At school, other classmates bully her, and a pushy man is eager to take over the laundromat. And as if this isn’t enough, young Wendell, a ghost who is unhappy being dead and surrounded by other spirits, haunts Marjorie and her business. The characters are distinct, and the villain is delightfully vile and self-absorbed. The ghosts, who must wear sheets to be visible, are every bit as sympathetic as the humans. The artwork is charming, and the backgrounds are lovingly detailed, with amusing and often punny elements. The contrast between Marjorie’s warm, candy-colored world and Wendell’s stark, monochrome Land of Ghosts adds life (and death) and dimension to the story. Panels vary in size, which enriches the narrative. VERDICT This heartfelt, lingering tale of friendship, family, and forgiveness will captivate children and adults alike, especially those who have experienced loss." – School Library Journal, Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT