A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Cemetery Boys is a standalone book by Heather Brewer, author of the popular Vladimir Tod vampire series. You'll find no vampires this time, but the book is heavy on creepy, supernatural atmosphere. It's also aimed at an older, high school audience with stronger language, which is infrequent but includes "d--k," "p---y," "s--t," and one "motherf--king." Violence is fairly mild: Past violent, mysterious deaths are mentioned; blood's mentioned a few times but not described in detail; and a few fights describe punches and kicks with resulting pain and injuries. A prominent teen character smokes clove cigarettes, and teens drink alcohol to excess frequently.
What's the story?
Stephen's mom is in a psychiatric hospital, and the bills are piling up. After losing his job, Stephen's dad decides to move the two of them from Denver to the tiny town of Spencer, Michigan, population 814. They move in with Stephen's grandmother, a harsh, bitter woman who never has a kind word. There Stephen meets the charismatic twins Cara and Devon and starts to hang out in the cemetery at night with Devon's gang of friends. Little by little, Stephen learns about the town's dark history that some people say is tied to creatures known as the Winged Ones. It's clear that something very dark lurks just beneath the surface of this small town and that Devon is leading Stephen down a dangerous path. How far should Stephen follow?
Is it any good?
This is a fun, light read for teens who enjoy supernatural chills. Author Heather Brewer effectively creates a creepy atmosphere in a small town populated with interesting characters. Teens who like tension and slow-building suspense will relate to the hero Stephen as he copes with tremendous change on the cusp of adulthood. Stephen's narrative voice is believable and realistic as he struggles to make the right decisions and learns just how far to go along with THE CEMETERY BOYS.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why supernatural stories are so popular. Why do we love them so much?
Have you read other books by Heather Brewer, such as the Vladimir Tod or Slayer Chronicles series? Which is your favorite? How does Cemetery Boys compare?
What do you imagine Stephen will do next? Will he stay in Spencer, go back to Denver, or do something else altogether?
- Author: Heather Brewer
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- Publication date: March 31, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 17
- Number of pages: 388
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.