Kit's Wilderness, by David Almond
My daughter found and bought this for herself, and then bugged me until I read it too. She was right! This is a great spooky YA novel about history, love, death, friendship, and family.
Kit's family moves back to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit's grandfather. Their family goes back to generations of coal-miners, and when Kit meets John Askew and other children of old mining families, they invite him to join in the game Death. As Kit learns more about mining and starts to discover his writing talent, he is drawn further into the past to look for the ghosts of his own people.
I'm finding this book very hard to describe, but it is a fantastic story. Give this to your young teen for sure. Read it yourself too. It won the Printz Award for YA literature for good reason.
Almond grew up in an old coal-mining district, and says that the landscape of Kit's Wilderness is very much like that of County Durham, so that's where I'm putting it.