Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

In this ingenious and captivating reimagining of Rudyard Kipling’s classic adventure The Jungle Book, Neil Gaiman tells the unforgettable story of Nobody Owens, a living, breathing boy whose home is a graveyard, raised by a guardian who belongs neither to the mortal world nor the realm of the dead. Among the mausoleums and headstones of his home, Bod experiences things most mortals can barely imagine. But real, flesh-and-blood danger waits just outside the cemetery walls: the man who murdered the infant Bod’s family will not rest until he finds Nobody Owens and finishes the job he began many years ago.

A #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of many international awards, including the Hugo Award for best novel and the Locus Award, The Graveyard Book is a glorious meditation on love, loss, survival, and sacrifice...and what it means to truly be alive.

My thoughts:
I picked out this audio book for the car for the month of October in honor of Halloween.  I was a little worried that it might be too scary for my children, but it wasn't.  Bod wanders into the graveyard as a baby on the night the man Jack kills his parents and sister.  The ghosts there decide to protect and hide him and he is given powers that allow him to live there, like the ability to fade and hide himself and the ability to walk through solid objects in the graveyard.  His guardian is not a ghost, but not a human either, but finds him teachers among the ghosts so Bod can learn and be schooled while living among the unliving.

Bod has parents and rules and free reign within the walls of the graveyard, but when he leaves its protection he has to rely on himself and each time finds himself in some sort of danger.  All the while he is getting older and you wonder what will become of him.  Will he spend his whole life among the dead or will he one day make a life for himself outside of the gates?  Will he ever be able to keep a human friend?  There are mysteries surrounding his guardian as well.  Who and what is Silas?  He eats, but not the same food as Bod.  That gave me a clue as to what he was, but it wasn't until later in the story that his true nature comes into focus.  The mysteries are, for the most part, resolved and the story felt complete.  I am interested in reading more books by Gaiman as they seem to be well thought out.

I borrowed this book from our local library as an audio book.  We didn't get to see the illustrations as we did not have the paper copy of the book.

•Pub. Date: September 2010
•Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
•Format: Paperback , 312pp
•Age Range: 9 to 12
•ISBN-13: 9780060530945
•ISBN: 0060530944

1 comment:

  1. I've never read any Gaiman books either. This one sounds like a great one to start with. What a good idea to listen to it in the car with your kids! It introduces them to the 'theme' of Halloween while in a regular everyday setting, that way it's not so scary.