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Cemetery Boys
Cover of Cemetery Boys
Cemetery Boys

A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas's New York Times-bestselling paranormal YA debut Cemetery Boys, described by Entertainment Weekly as "groundbreaking."
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can't get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He's determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
Praise for Cemetery Boys:
"The novel perfectly balances the vibrant, energetic Latinx culture while delving into heavy topics like LGBTQ+ acceptance, deportation, colonization, and racism within authoritative establishments." —TeenVogue.com
"This stunning debut novel from Thomas is detailed, heart-rending, and immensely romantic. I was bawling by the end of it, but not from sadness: I just felt so incredibly happy that this queer Latinx adventure will get to be read by other kids. Cemetery Boys is necessary: for trans kids, for queer kids, for those in the Latinx community who need to see themselves on the page. Don't miss this book." —Mark Oshiro, author of Anger is a Gift

A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas's New York Times-bestselling paranormal YA debut Cemetery Boys, described by Entertainment Weekly as "groundbreaking."
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can't get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He's determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
Praise for Cemetery Boys:
"The novel perfectly balances the vibrant, energetic Latinx culture while delving into heavy topics like LGBTQ+ acceptance, deportation, colonization, and racism within authoritative establishments." —TeenVogue.com
"This stunning debut novel from Thomas is detailed, heart-rending, and immensely romantic. I was bawling by the end of it, but not from sadness: I just felt so incredibly happy that this queer Latinx adventure will get to be read by other kids. Cemetery Boys is necessary: for trans kids, for queer kids, for those in the Latinx community who need to see themselves on the page. Don't miss this book." —Mark Oshiro, author of Anger is a Gift

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About the Author-
  • Aiden Thomas, author of Cemetery Boys, received their MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Born in Oakland, California, Aiden often haunted Mountain View Cemetery like a second home during their misspent youth. As a queer, trans Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden is notorious among their friends for always being surprised by twist endings to books/movies and organizing their bookshelves by color. When not writing, Aiden enjoys exploring the outdoors with their dog, Ronan. Their cat, Figaro, prefers to support their indoor hobbies, like reading and drinking too much coffee.
Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    April 17, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-Yadriel is a transgender teen boy growing up in East L.A., where for centuries, brujos have been responsible for releasing the spirits of the dead, and brujas have healed the living. When Yadriel's family can't accept that he is a boy and not cut out for healing, Yadriel is forbidden from attempting the ritual to become a brujo. Refusing to abandon tradition and helped by his best friend Maritza, Yadriel completes the ritual in secret, but abruptly discovers that his cousin Miguel has just been murdered. When searching for Miguel's spirit, Yadriel and Maritza instead stumble upon murdered schoolmate Julian Diaz, who demands that Yadriel help find out what happened to him. Thomas is generally successful at weaving various Latinx customs and traditions into this #OwnVoices supernatural romance. Spanish words and phrases are liberally peppered throughout, and their meanings are generally clear from context. The occasionally repetitive writing has minimal cursing; the characters and their struggles are authentic, showcasing their need for acceptance from their loved ones but also their refreshing certainty about who they are and what they stand for. VERDICT A whodunit with a tender and forbidden love story that will draw readers in as it gradually unfolds to a gratifying conclusion.-Alea Perez, Elmhurst Public Library, IL

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from May 1, 2020
    Grades 8-12 *Starred Review* Yadriel lives with his family and his brujx community in a cemetery in East L.A., tending to the spirits of their ancestors, but he is unhappy and frustrated. Part of a very traditional Latinx community, his father doesn't want him to take part in the quince ceremony to become a full-fledged brujo, just because he's trans! One evening, with the help of his best friend, Maritza, he calls on Lady Death to bestow her blessing on him, providing the powers necessary to release spirits into the afterlife. But just as he finishes the rites, the whole community feels the loss of one of their own: Yadriel's cousin, Miguel. When Yadriel tries to find Miguel's spirit and its tether to the world, he instead summons an infuriating, yet alluring, young man named Julian, who has died under mysterious circumstances and who won't let his tether be severed until he can check in on his chosen family. Navigating terrifyingly real obstacles, Yadriel, Maritza, and Julian chase leads to find out how Julian died?including whether or not his disappearance is linked to Miguel's. Aiden Thomas' debut novel can't help but charm and captivate readers of all ages, though teen readers will invariably identify with and appreciate the high jinks and emotional vulnerability that make each character and scenario deliciously enchanting.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 29, 2020
    In Thomas’s vibrant YA debut, Yadriel, a gay, trans 16-year-old, is determined to prove himself, as a brujo and as a boy, to the traditional brujx cemetery community he grew up in. After being denied his quinces and initiation rite as a brujo, Yadriel takes his fate in his own hands and performs the rite himself, unlocking his magical gifts. While seeking the lost spirit of his recently murdered 28-year-old cousin, Yadriel mistakenly summons the spirit of a recently departed schoolmate named Julian. Helping Julian to cross over would prove Yadriel’s worth as a brujo to his family, but as Yadriel discovers the sort of kind, protective person Julian is, Yasriel may not be able to let him go. Thomas marries concept and execution in a romantic mystery as poignant as it is spellbinding, weaved in a mosaic of culture, acceptance, and identity, where intricately crafted characters are the pieces and love—platonic, romantic, familial, and communal—is the glue. Though the puzzles that Yadriel unravels can be guessed, the emotional journey is worth every step. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jennifer March Soloway, Andrea Brown Literary.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2020
    A gay, transgender brujo with burgeoning powers seeks answers about his cousin's death. Sixteen-year-old Yadriel also wishes for acknowledgement from his community but unexpectedly finds himself entangled in the unresolved wishes of a strong-willed, good-looking spirit. He descends from a long line of brujx who have been granted magic power by Lady Death to heal the living and to guide spirits into the afterlife. Although he's grown up surrounded by a close-knit community, Yadriel feels alone, excluded indefinitely from a sacred rite of passage because he is transgender. When he senses that his cousin Miguel has died suddenly but the family can't locate him, Yadriel sees an opportunity to prove to everyone he's a true brujo by solving the mystery and releasing his cousin's lost spirit. His plan quickly falls apart, as he accidentally summons the spirit of Julian Diaz, a boy with unfinished business who died the same day as Miguel. Both the romance and mystery burn slow and hot until the climax. Stakes begin high, and the intensity only increases with a looming deadline and a constant risk that Julian might lose himself, turning maligno. The cast of characters represents a diversity of Latinx identities sharing a community in East Los Angeles. Julian is Colombian while Yadriel is Cuban and Mexican. Their romance provides joyful, ground-breaking representation for gay, transgender boys. Heart-pounding. (Fantasy. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Mark Oshiro, author of Anger is a Gift

    "This stunning debut novel from Thomas is detailed, heart-rending, and immensely romantic. I was bawling by the end of it, but not from sadness: I just felt so incredibly happy that this queer Latinx adventure will get to be read by other kids. Cemetery Boys is necessary: for trans kids, for queer kids, for those in the Latinx community who need to see themselves on the page. Don't miss this book."

  • Mason Deaver, author of I Wish You All The Best "This book is magical, tender, loving, and so so so important. I love it with all my heart."
  • TeenVogue.com "The novel perfectly balances the vibrant, energetic Latinx culture while delving into heavy topics like LGBTQ+ acceptance, deportation, colonization, and racism within authoritative establishments."
  • Isabel Sterling, author of These Witches Don't Burn "Cemetery Boys is a celebration of culture and identity that will captivate readers with its richly detailed world, earnest romance, and thrilling supernatural mystery. This delightful debut is a must-read for all paranormal romance fans."
  • C.B. Lee, author of Not Your Sidekick " Thomas marries concept and execution in a romantic mystery as poignant as it is spellbinding, weaved in a mosaic of culture, acceptance, and identity, where intricately crafted characters are the pieces and love--platonic, romantic, familial, and communal--is the glue."
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