Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery

  • Interest Level: Grade 8 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

When Lacy wakes up dead in Westminster Cemetery, final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, she’s confused. It’s the job of Sam, a young soldier who died in 1865, to teach her the rules of the afterlife and to warn her about Suppression—a punishment worse than death.

Lacy desperately wants to leave the cemetery and find out how she died, but every soul is obligated to perform a job. Given the task of providing entertainment, Lacy proposes an open mic, which becomes a chance for the cemetery’s residents to express themselves. But Lacy is in for another shock when surprising and long-buried truths begin to emerge.

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Interest Level Grade 8 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 6
Genre Young Adult
Copyright 2018
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Lab ®
Language English
Number of Pages 272
Publication Date 2018-09-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS YAF027010, YAF047030, YAF021000
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Lexile 800
Features Author/Illustrator biography and Reviewed

Author: Mary Amato

Mary Amato is an award-winning children's and YA book author, songwriter, and poet who lives in Maryland. Her books have been translated into foreign languages, optioned for television, and produced onstage.


The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“The plot arc here is rendered refreshing and clever by Amato’s choice of form: the narrative is conveyed as a play . . .”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Shelf Awareness

“Mary Amato’s inventive Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery finds humor in the grave.”—Shelf Awareness


“[A] unique read that fans of Poe, poetry, or stage plays will find something to grab onto.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“[B]lends prose with stage directions for a hybrid structure. The resulting alchemy capitalizes on the strengths of both media to create a unique, fully-realized world. . . . Quoth the Raven, ‘Encore.’”—Kirkus Reviews

Gareth Hinds

“Full of heart, honesty, and Poe-etry, with just a dash of the macabre. You’ll love the deceased residents of Westminster Cemetery—and not just the famous one.”—Gareth Hinds, author-illustrator of the graphic novel POE: Stories and Poems