A human boy living in a graveyard together with decidedly non-human-beings.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts.
There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard. But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.
Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publication: September 30, 2008 by HarperCollins
Target audience: Middle Grade
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This was so adorable and weird and creepy.
I loved it.
This was my second Neil Gaiman book, and I’m asking myself why I haven’t read his books earlier. I mean, both the books I read were children’s books (the first being Coraline), but they were written so brilliantly and without looking down at the reader. The plot is simple enough for children to grasp but interesting enough to keep adults reading, and the language is mature without being too complicated.
I can’t imagine how his other novels are going to be (because I’m definitely going to read more of him for sure).
Usually, I need some time to get into a book, but this time I was hooked from the first chapter on. Because the first chapter actually shows us the murder of Nobody Owens’ family.
It is not often that a children’s book starts off with a murder.
The idea, that a child finds himself a home in a graveyard, is so ridiculous that it’s genuis again. Nobody’s new family consists of ghosts; death isn’t something he is afraid of. But the ghosts aren’t the only paranormal creatures in Nobody’s life. His guardian, Silas, is a vampire, which is actually never explicitly stated in the book; a fact that I, for some reason, found hilarious.
‘Name the different kinds of people,’ said Miss Lupescu. ‘Now.’
Bod thought for a moment. ‘The living,’ he said. ‘Er. The dead.’ He stopped. Then, ‘…Cats?’ he offered, uncertainly.
Every chapter is its own little story, telling us of Bod’s adventures. We see him growing up, getting kidnapped by ghouls and dancing with Lady Death (actually the Lady on the Grey, but that’s what I call her in my head).
You’d think a story set primarily on a graveyard would get boring, but that’s not the case. I was so invested in this story and Bod’s fate, I even got a little emotional at the end of the book. Growing up is hard.
Have you read this book? If yes, how did you like it? If not, do you want to read it? Let me know down below in the comments!