Parents' Guide to

Cemetery Boys

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Enchanting queer Latinx fantasy has mystery, spirit-romance.

Book Aiden Thomas Fantasy 2020
Cemetery Boys Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+

YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW

SO FLIPPING GOOD! this book is a MUST READ. It portrays so much Latinx culture and it made me so happy. The LGBTQ+ representation was also wonderful. AND THE MAIN SHIP IS ADORABLE! I don’t feel like writing long reviews, and I apologize if this review isn’t that helpful. But in all seriousness, if you are a parent checking this book out for your child, or a teen trying to find a new read, this book is for you. I cannot stress enough how excellent it was and how sad I was when it finished.
age 12+

A fun fantasy/romance that tells the story of a Latino trans man.

I strongly recommend Cemetery Boys for anyone who likes fantasy and romance! For context, I read it as a part of an assignment for an undergraduate education class (I’m in college), so Cemetery Boys was not something I likely would have picked up on my own. That being said, I'm very glad I read Cemetery Boys -- it ended up being very cute and enjoyable! Without spoiling anything, the protagonist, Yadriel, is a Latino trans man who comes from a family that has magical powers like healing and sending the dead to the afterlife. When Yadriel’s cousin goes missing, he tries to summon his cousin’s ghost and accidentally summons the ghost of Julian, a “bad boy” from his school. I don’t want to give any more of the plot away, but I personally found the book just the right amount of dramatic and exciting to keep me interested. I should mention that this book contains scenes that depict transphobia, in case that is something that could potentially be very upsetting. None of the mentions or incidents of transphobia are extremely violent or graphic, but it is still something to be aware of. As a trans man, Yadriel has to navigate his school as a newly out person and his family as they try to accept him. We also see Yadriel get to experience the joys of finally being recognized for who he is, though! If you’re looking for a story that prioritizes the story of a trans man, I think Cemetery Boys is right for you. Even if you’re not explicitly looking for a story about a trans man, I would still recommend Cemetery Boys! The last thing I should mention is that Cemetery Boys features many characters that have recently lost friends or family, which can be difficult to read about. If any of that sounds interesting to you, please go to your local library or bookstore and give Cemetery Boys a chance!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

This book is an enchanting tour-de-force that portrays a vibrant, diverse Latinx community rooted in tradition and led by intensely likable, decidedly not traditional characters. Cemetery Boys is a triumph in terms of casting trans and gay characters whose entire lives don't revolve around being trans and gay. Yadriel and Julian, though practically opposites, are both compelling and relatable characters that readers can identify with. They will, of course, be especially treasured by queer and trans readers who rarely see themselves cast as magical heroes.

The story is an education for those unfamiliar with Latinx culture, and a celebration for those who are. Author Aiden Thomas seamlessly weaves in cultural touchstones such as when Yadriel claims to be ill and his female relatives converge on him with home remedies like manzanilla tea, an egg to ward off the evil eye, and VapoRub. Extensive preparations for Dia de Muertos, where each element is given meaningful attention in the text, paints a colorful, lively picture of this important holiday. While some of the plot turns may be predictable, Thomas' beautiful writing, his compelling, full-of-personality characters, and tension-filled pacing makes this a must-read for just about anyone who likes a well-told story.

Book Details

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