Neil Gaiman's perennial favorite, The Graveyard Book, has sold more than one million copies and is the only novel to win both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal. Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.
Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?
The Graveyard Book is the winner of the Newbery Medal, the Carnegie Medal, the Hugo Award for best novel, the Locus Award for Young Adult novel, the American Bookseller Association’s “Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book,” a Horn Book Honor, and Audio Book of the Year.
A lavish middle-grade novel, Gaiman's first since Coraline, this gothic fantasy almost lives up to its extravagant advance billing. The opening is enthralling: There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. Evading the murderer who kills the rest of his family, a child roughly 18 months old climbs out of his crib, bumps his bottom down a steep stairway, walks out the open door and crosses the street into the cemetery opposite, where ghosts take him in. What mystery/horror/suspense reader could stop here, especially with Gaiman's talent for storytelling? The author riffs on the Jungle Book, folklore, nursery rhymes and history; he tosses in werewolves and hints at vampires and he makes these figures seem like metaphors for transitions in childhood and youth. As the boy, called Nobody or Bod, grows up, the killer still stalking him, there are slack moments and some repetition not enough to spoil a reader's pleasure, but noticeable all the same. When the chilling moments do come, they are as genuinely frightening as only Gaiman can make them, and redeem any shortcomings. Ages 10 up.
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Not just for kids!
I heard this author interviewed on NPR and was enticed to read the book. I am a former high school literature teacher and couldn't help but to read this on a more intelligent level. The characters are perfectly developed, the themes are sublime, and the end is emotionally surprising. It is captivating! What an imagination the author has! I wish there was a sequel.
This book started it all for me, stumbled across it one day and ended up buying all of Gaimans books. He is a phenomenal story teller and his books are definitely worth the money. One of my favorite books.
Overall a good book, I feel cheated there's no sequel. Not just to enjoy the characters but rather conclude some of the ideas brought up in the book that never fully feel explored.
Concept of the book might be more intriguing then all the ideas it sums up. All in all a good read with very interesting and unique concepts.