Genres: Dark Fiction, Middle Grade
Published by HaperCollins on September 30th 2008
Recommended Read? If the fact it's won the Newbery award doesn't win you over, then you'll just have to trust me. It's a quick, enjoyable read with vivid characters and a twisted plot.After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family . . .
Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.
Buy the Book (Book Depository) • Buy the Book (Amazon) •
Neil Gaiman has such a unique voice. It’s whimsical, playful, and formal all at the same time — which is a weird thing to say, I know. Gaiman has an amazing way of capturing so many of the awkward moments of childhood.
The Graveyard Book is one of those stories that follows the main character through their childhood. We meet Nobody Owens (Bod) when he’s a baby. His entire family is murdered — if you remember back in 2008, that caused a lot of gasps and whatnot. It’s a middle grade that starts with throats getting sliced? Uh no. But whatever. It’s Gaiman, what do you expect?
The book ends when Bod is fifteen, so we do follow him from babyhood to his teenage years. At first, it seems like the chapters don’t have a real plot. It’s true that a lot of interesting things happen in those chapters, but there didn’t appear to be any real forward motion in the plot — at least not in regards to Nobody’s family’s murder.
But that didn’t matter because of the characters.
The characters in this book are remarkable. All of them are vivid, unique, and lovable. Silas, Nobody’s guardian, is probably my favorite. I loved him and all his wise advice. Mr. and Mrs. Owens are such lovely parents, even if they are ghosts, and all the friends Nobody makes along the way are intriguing.
In the end, everything wraps up well — and everything had a purpose. I really appreciated that.