Get a first look at Aiden Thomas' Cemetery Boys.

By David Canfield
November 01, 2019 at 11:00 AM EDT
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Mars Lauderbaugh/Macmillan

As YA continues to break representational barriers, allow us to introduce Cemetery Boys: a debut novel offering fresh explorations of trans identity, Latinx culture, and the paranormal.

The book is written by Aiden Thomas, working from their own experiences in the story following Yadriel, a trans boy determined to prove his gender to his conservative Latinx family. Bestowed by the ancient gods of Maya, they can see spirits — but things get complicated when Yadriel summons a ghost who refuses to leave. The story is filled with romantic and familial elements to boot, and takes place around the Día de Muertos holiday.

EW has an exclusive first look at the book in the form of a cover reveal; the jacket is designed by Mars Lauderbaugh, with art direction by Liz Dresner. “When I found out Mars Lauderbaugh was going to do my cover, I knew it would be incredible, but the final product is truly better than anything I imagined,” Thomas tells EW. “I’m still in shock this little book of mine is real, and now I have a gorgeous cover featuring a gay, transgender, Latinx boy.”

Thomas adds of the book’s features on the cover: “Yadriel is exactly how I pictured him, and I especially love how Mars drew [the ghost] Julian, who is described in the book as having the strong features of an Aztec warrior. Meanwhile, Lady Death and the marigolds represent Dia de Muertos, the holiday during which Cemetery Boys takes place. This cover is the perfect mix of beauty, magic, mystery and unapologetically Latinx!”

Check out the cover above, fittingly revealed in time for Día de Muertos. Cemetery Boys publishes June 9, 2020, and is available for pre-order.

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