Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman is one of the most unique books I've ever read. As a child I was terrified of cemeteries and frankly, I'm not fond of them as an adult either. Imagine growing up in a graveyard, raised by ghosts. The story begins with a baby wandering (crawling) into a graveyard, not knowing that he was being pursued by a murderer. A kindly ghost couple vows to protect and raise the baby, and a resident vampire agrees to provide for him. The baby, now named Nobody, lives and learns surrounded by his ghostly family and friends.

The complete normalcy of Bod's life struck me. He wasn't afraid of graveyards or ghosts because it was all he knew. He found peace amongst the dead. There are many stories of orphans being raised by horrible monsters - usually human. Bod's family were dead but yet they loved him and cared for him. Go figure. It was a fresh perspective on the story.

I enjoyed this book immensely. It was beautifully written and I confess to crying at the end. It's a Newbery Award Winner and deserves that award. I don't know if I would have been okay with reading it as a very sensitive child but as an adult it was no problem. It's perfectly acceptable for children to read but I think it would be great to read to a child just in case as it is a little on the dark side of things.

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