The Grave Digger

Amberjack. Oct. 2019. 192p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781948705523.
Gr 5-8–Cap Cooper is a 12-year-old boy and aspiring inventor living in 1867 Ohio with his parents. Cap loves his parents very much, so when his dad tells him that he needs help with a job in the middle of the night, Cap obediently follows. He is not happy with the task he’s been assigned—pulling corpses from their graves—but they need the money for his mom’s medical expenses. When the second body he retrieves comes back to life, Cap begins to uncover a multitude of secrets in his community, all possibly wrapped around the opening of the new local medical school. With a little help from a friend and lots of wit and courage, Cap sets out to uncover some clues and solve this mystery once and for all. This novel is a quickly paced story suitable for 12–13-year-olds. There are many characters, but the reader doesn’t get to know many of them very well. The character of Cap is likable; he is curious and just wants to please his parents. The plot is quite sinister but moves the story along, sometimes in many directions at once.
VERDICT A fun read for curious middle-schoolers who like slightly spooky adventure and mysteries.

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