Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

(Note the pretty Newbery Medal!)

A toddler crawls out his house in the middle of the night, unaware that someone is murdering the rest of his family. When the man with the knife goes to find the baby, he is baffled as to where he may be. The baby has toddled from the house into a nearby graveyard where the residents vote to raise the child after receiving permission from the child's parents, also ghosts at this point, but would not be residents at this particular graveyard which houses souls from much earlier times. The child is named Nobody "Bod" Owens, and will spend his childhood in the graveyard learning the ways of the ghosts as well as the ways of the living.

Each chapter tells a different adventure of Bod's childhood and his experience in the graveyard. He befriends most of the ghosts residing there and they teach him how to Fade, Dreamwalk and other skills that help him survive. He goes to school, and even makes friends with a young girl, and sneaks into old crypts.

As he grows older, Bod becomes curious of the world outside of the graveyard, and he is often put in harms way. Bod is protected in the graveyard, but is exposed outside the gates. Thankfully his guardian and friends save him every time...but Bod must save himself and his one of his friends in one exciting adventure where he meets the man who once tried to killed him and killed his family.

Check out this link for Amazon's book trailer (like a video) promoting the book.

What I Thought:
A wonderful story! So very imaginative and I am simply amazed at the skill of storytelling that Gaiman has as he tells the story of Bod and the ghosts in the graveyard.

While this book is not one that I would have normally picked up, and since we are being honest here, it was kind of hard for me to 'get in to,' I can say that it is an EXCELLENT book that is just plain good. The ending was great and I hope Gaiman has a sequel up his sleeve. It is so well-written, the story is captivating and the characters are believable. Even the ghosts!

(I do want to mention that while the family is murdered, Gaiman does an outstanding job informing the reader of the situation without it being overly graphic and disturbing. That's just my opinion and while I think it is a great book for older kids, especially those clamoring for a great ghost story.)

This book is the 2009 Newbery Award Medal Winner, meaning that the American Library Association picked this book book to be the best book written for children in 2009. It has also received many other accolades such as ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Horn Book Fanfare, & New York Library's "One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing." And believe me, it is well worth all the attention. This book deserves it.

Very highly recommended.

Want to see more? Check it out here: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This book has many different covers, which I found interesting. I liked a couple of these better than the US book and thought you would enjoy looking at them. I love how each cover depicts a different aspect of the story. Which one is your favorite?? (Don't forget the one on top of this post!)

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