Monday, March 30, 2009

The Graveyard Book

Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Location: YA Gaiman
Reading Level: Young Adult and kids 8 and up

Nobody Owens is a pretty weird name for a normal little boy, but Bod does not live an ordinary life. Bod lives in a graveyard with his adoptive ghost parents, his protector and graveyard caretaker, Silas, and all the other ghostly inhabitants. Now it may seem like a graveyard would be a terrifying place to live, but most of the ghosts are kind, and even though Bod is alive, they accept him as one of their own. However, the graveyard does house some very frightening and dangerous apparitions. The demented ghouls, who move between this world and a dark, evil dimension, are always searching for a new recruit to their ways. As well as the Sleer, an ancient spirit that protects the oldest grave. Deep below the earth, the Sleer guards an aged treasure and is always on the lookout for a new master to ensnare in its lair. Although these creatures seem scary, the real danger lurks in the world outside the old graveyard. The man named Jack seeks for the baby, now boy, who escaped from his murderous clutches. Bod loves life in the graveyard, but he yearns for the real world and all of its knowledge. Will he always exist as he is in the graveyard, alive but not really living? Or will he be able to face the man Jack and claim a life for himself outside the graveyard’s walls?

This was a fun, mysterious, and imaginative read. Bod is such a well written, engaging character that young people will instantly relate to him and enjoy accompanying him on his adventures. Neil Gaiman is an extremely talented writer and he seamlessly weaves scary moments into Bod’s everyday existence without the story ever becoming too frightening. The many intriguing ghosts who people Bod’s existence add an enchanting supernatural aspect which helps to make this book so unique. The Graveyard book is truly Gaiman at his best!

The Bottom Line: I know I did not do justice to this amazing book. It is unique, heartfelt, and utterly enjoyable. It won the Newberry Medal for a reason so give it to kids and teens who like fun characters and a suspenseful yet good-natured tale.

1 comment:

  1. I agree this was a great book! I read the first few chapters on line and was excited about reading the actual book. When I saw it I thought there was no way Gaiman could keep the story interesting and suspenseful for the entire book. I'm delighted to say I was wrong. This is the type of book writers dream about being able to create and readers wish there were more of.