The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

By Neil Gaiman

This is the story of a young boy whose family was murdered. He escaped and cutely toddled his way to the local graveyard, where he was adopted by the ghosts of the graveyard who vowed to raise him and keep him safe from the man Jack, a mysterious, creepy dude out to gut this baby and finish his work. The ghosts, specifically his adopted parents, Mr. and Mrs. Owens, name the boy Nobody Owens, Bod for short. He learns tricks of the dead and goes on adventures in and out of the ghostly world. What Bod longs for more than anything is a connection to the living world and the freedom to leave the safety of the graveyard (the man Jack actively searches for Bod and seeks to kill him).

This book is completely charming. As you can imagine, it is a young-adult or slightly older children’s book. The story is unique and very entertaining.

I loved all of the different ghosts of the graveyard and can only imagine a child wishing that he or she had the ability to fade, to dream-walk, to manifest fear, and to spend time talking and playing with the long-deceased (truthfully, I wished it myself).

The ending was a little silly, I admit. It suddenly became reminiscent of Harry Potter- there were no magic powers, no magical school, no broomsticks, and no notable scars BUT there was a prophesy about a boy who defeated a malevolent powerful entity and Bod is clearly ‘the boy who lived’- but otherwise, this book was in the clear of copyright infringement.

What I loved about this book was what it offered kids about life and death. Death is not to be feared, but life is to be treasured and lived to the absolute fullest. There is an appreciation of history, of tradition, of thinking outside the box.

This book was a wonderful break from my heavy load of academic reading and I found myself looking forward to sharing it with my future children (which I tend to daydream about when I find a notable book for kids).

Read it and lose yourself for a bit.

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