In honor of one of my very favorite days of the year (that would be Halloween), I’d like to tell you all about a book I finished recently called The Graveyard Book by the strange and creative author, Neil Gaiman.
Nobody (better know as “Bod”) Owens has a very interesting life. At the tender age of 18 months, Bod’s entire family was murdered by an evil and incredibly creepy man named “Jack.” Bod, being a curious toddler, miraculously escaped and found his way up the hill to the ancient cemetery located there.
The dead, who took up permanent residence at this particular graveyard centuries before, take pity on the little tot and give him the “privileges of the graveyard”, thereby allowing him to talk to the spirits as well as find his way around the forgotten place. Silas, a figure shrouded in mystery, vows to be Bod’s guardian, since Silas can living amongst the living as well as the deceased and can therefore provide Bod with all of his human necessities.
Gaiman relays the stories of Bod’s life in the cemetery bit by bit, with each chapter containing a new story. We watch while the residents of the graveyard raise young Bod to become a young man, determined to find out what happened to his parents and sister.
One of the best things about The Graveyard Book is that it’s written for upper elementary tweens/teens. I happen to like YA literature because it reflects the audience very well. It’s real and down to earth because that’s how young people view the world.
Gaiman’s snippets of Bod’s world are sweet, endearing, creepy and absolutely captivating. I have to say that this is one of my favorite books of all time. (Bonus points to Gaiman for narrating as well. He’s a great reader who adds a lot of character to his books).
I used to be afraid of cemeteries – I thought that they were incredibly creepy. However, I think back to something my grandma used to say to me. She’d tell me, “It’s not the dead you have to worry about, it’s the living.”
So true, especially in The Graveyard Book.