Book Review: Grave Digger

I was given this ARC book in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley.

Grave Digger
by Rebecca Bischoff
Amberjack Publishing
192 pages
Release date: October 2019

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I’ve not heard of this author before now. This is her second book to be published. I’ve started a few books by new authors in NetGalley that were poorly written. (I chose not to review those) This one was really good though! Here is a screenshot of page one, so you get a sample of the writing. Also, each chapter has a lovely drawing by Tambe, an Italian artist. I confess I woke up last night and wasn’t able to sleep, so I continued reading this story. I finished it at 4 am. Good thing I’m on summer break and could sleep in a little!!

What’s this about?

It’s 1875. Cap Cooper is a 12 year old whose mother is pregnant with another child. She is weak and sick. Cap and his dad just want to be able to pay for her medicine, so they pick up a job of grave digging. Not to put bodies into, but to take them out. They are stealing the bodies to sell to medical facilities. It’s good money, for some rather unsavory people.

Cap feels bad about it. Then one of the bodies comes back to life! Did he cause that? Does he have some paranormal power? Or was she buried alive?

He is also an inventor and very curious. Unfortunately his curiosity gets the better of him and he starts poking around, getting himself into very deep water. Along the way Cap makes some friends and some enemies.

The townspeople are up in arms about their loved ones being snatched from the grave! Tension is high and Cap might be in over his head!

Who will like this?

This had a similar feel to Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains in the setting except for the.100 year difference. The writing is not quite as rich as hers but it’s getting there. So if you like Laurie Halse Anderson’s historical fiction books this is the book for you!


I give this 4 quills. There were some tiny little foibles in the writing style and story telling style that could be improved. Young readers wouldn’t notice this though, just writers. This is not a difficult read at all. I think 4th or 5th graders could read this and enjoy it if they like something a bit scary and intense. There is quite a bit of action to keep readers engaged.

Foul Language: None
Excessive or Vivid Violence: None
Sexual Content: None
Substance Abuse: None (It does contain smoking and alcohol, but Cap describes them as gross smelling.)

Professional Reader 10 Book Reviews 80%