Graveyard Book from Neil Gaiman---best suited for??
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ETA: It is based on Kipling's Mowgli stories in The Jungle Book in tone and structure. If you recall, those started with a violent event as well, but the focus is not on that, but on the aftermath. If you haven't read them--well, the Disney version is NOT where they are at, but they were favorites of mine when I was that age.
If they've read any of the Harry Potter books, I'd say they can handle TGB. Bod's journey isn't radically different from Harry's -- his family is killed by an evil man, who continues to hunt for him, and he is raised in a place where he doesn't belong, until eventually he has to return to "his" people: the living.