Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Take 5: Death Comes Knocking (YA lit featuring the Grim Reaper and Necromancers)

Croak by Gina Damico

Tired and desperate from a wide variety of behavior issues, Lex’s parent send her for some rehabilitation with dear old uncle Mort – who, it turns out, is a grim reaper.  It turns out, some of Lex’s problem behaviors may mean she is the perfect teen for the job.

Something Deadly This Way Comes by Kim Harrison

In this last book in the Madison Avery series (and really, you’ll want to start at the beginning), Madison is now the somewhat conflicted but not altogether unwilling leader of the Dark Reapers.  Book 1 is Once Dead, Twice Shy and book 2 

The Wrap-Up List by Steven Arntson  

 “Dear Gabriela,
You’ve been chosen for departure.  How about next Wednesday?  That gives you a week. Save a dance for me.
– Hercule”

Some people don’t die, they simply depart.  A note arrives from one of the Deaths and you are given a date and place.  You can put together a wrap-up list, a list of things you want to do before you go, and if you are lucky – maybe you can trick Death into giving you a pardon.  

Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

 “Slow down and explain to us plebeians. If you have to, use sock puppets.”
Lish McBride, Necromancing the Stone
This is book two, you want to start with Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.  Then read this one.  But DO read them.  They are fun, a great read for Buffy fans.  Basically, a slacker boy – Sam – finds out he is a Necromancer and finds himself part of a turf war with a strong and powerful necromancer who wants him capital D. E. A. D.  Sam learns about the turf war when he finds the head of the girl he adores from afar in a box on his front step – and it starts talking.  It only gets crazier from there. 

Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones


When 16-year-old Lorelei is saved from an accident, it changes everyone’s destiny.  And now she is being stalked, the question is by who and why.

What’s your favorite book featuring the Grim Reaper or a Necromancer?  Tell us in the comments.


  1. Love the theme of this list!

  2. Croak is as awesome a book as the writer is a person! Gina spoke to my Teen Writing group earlier this month and was outstanding! Loved the trilogy!

  3. The Abhorsen series by Garth Nix. If you haven't read these yet, I strongly suggest them!

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