The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

 

SupernaturalChildrenThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Graveyard BookNeil Gaiman; HarperCollins 2010WorldCatWhen Bod was a baby, he had been mischievous and toddled away from the house. Because of that, he was up the hill in the neighborhood graveyard when the man Jack came to his home in the middle of the night and killed his parents and older sister. The ghost of his mother appeared to the ghosts who resided in the graveyard and asked them to care for her baby. When the man Jack came looking for the small boy, he was magicked away another direction instead.

Now Bod lives in the graveyard. He isn’t allowed to leave it for any reason because it’s not safe for him out there. He sleeps in a grave. He can fade away to be unseen. Bod usually wears a winding cloth. His parents, Mr. and Mistress Owens, died a few centuries earlier. Silas is the shady man who can leave the graveyard and bring back the things Bod (short for Nobody Owens) needs to live, such as food and clothes. His friends are ghosts who have died anywhere from ancient Roman times up through the Victorians in England. He gets his education from the adult ghosts and from the books Silas brings.

Bod has his share of adventures and gets in trouble at times. He never loses his mischieviousness, although it’s easier to get caught by the ghosts. Even so, he ends up in the land of ghouls once, in a pawn shop, down in an ancient tomb, and even makes one human friend.

Neil Gaiman takes his imagination all over when writing his books. The Graveyard Book is no exception. Despite the realization the book opens with the murder of a family, Gaiman keeps The Graveyard Book at a level to be enjoyed by children. It’s scary to them but doesn’t overwhelm or get too dark. Children (and adults) can easily identify with Bod’s adventures.

I “read” the audio book read by Gaiman. Because he is the narrator, I knew I heard the story he wants to tell with the inflections and reflections he had in mind when he wrote The Graveyard Book.

There are some loose ends in The Graveyard Book, such as some bad guys who are in the middle of the book who just disappear once Bod escapes them. Their story is dropped, not ended. Despite some of these issues, The Graveyard Book is a charming, potentially scary book. Adults and kids will revel in the story.

Notice:  Non-graphic violence

More books by Neil Gaiman

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