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A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas's paranormal YA debut Cemetery Boys.

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.


From the Publisher

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Author Q&A

What inspired you to write Cemetery Boys?

Cemetery Boys was inspired by a writing prompt I saw on Tumblr — “What happened if you summoned a ghost and couldn’t get rid of it?” My main character, Yadriel came to life first. He’s transgender, Cuban/Mexican, and gay. I really wanted to explore and showcase Latinx culture, and the plot aligned perfectly with Día de Muertos! It isn’t celebrated the same way in every country, but it has a recognizable core. There’s characters from Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Colombia and they all bring parts of their respective cultures to the Día de Muertos celebrations.

It was also really important for me to write a book where LGBTQIA, and Latinx kids could see themselves being powerful heroes. Right now, these kids are living in a world where a lot of hate and suffering is zeroed in on them. I wanted them to see themselves being supported and loved for who they are. I wanted to write a fun book with good representation that they could escape into and have a happy ending.

What was your favorite scene to write? Do you have a favorite character?

My favorite scene is definitely when Yadriel accidentally summons Julian’s spirit. It’s a crash course in who these boys are and their personalities.

It’s also when my favorite character, Julian, first comes on the scene! He isn’t your standard Love Interest, especially in fantasy. He’s not dark, broody or mysterious. I wanted him to be an authentic teenage boy — he’s chaotic, goofy, and flawed.

What do you hope readers take away from this story?

I want readers to find connection and feel seen because isolation can be a killer. Julian is a ghost — someone Yadriel literally can’t touch — and one of the first people to unquestioningly accept and affirm Yadriel’s gender. Meanwhile, the living/physical people in Yadriel’s life keep failing him. Sometimes our sense of connection to people has nothing to do with proximity.

Publisher‏:‎Swoon Reads (September 1, 2020)
Language‏:‎English
Hardcover‏:‎352 pages
ISBN-10‏:‎1250250463
ISBN-13‏:‎978-1250250469
Reading age‏:‎13 – 18 years
Grade level‏:‎7 – 9
Item Weight‏:‎15.4 ounces
Dimensions‏:‎5.73 x 1.22 x 8.53 inches
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