The Graveyard Book

January 13th, 2011 Posted in Fiction, Kim, Middle Grade, Uncategorized

Neil Gaiman is and will continue to be one of my favorite writers. So after setting down my last book (The Magus by John Fowles) I was more than ready for something like The Graveyard Book. Light, airy, and a Newbery Medal winner. Simply put, this book seemed like a slam dunk.

The book begins when a small child, our protagonist Bod, whether by luck or by fate, wanders into a graveyard. In doing so, he avoids suffering the same fate as his family: killed by a man named Jack. In the graveyard he is taken in by a community of ghosts, primarily the Owens and given the name Nobody Owens. You know him throughout the story as Bod. Over eight chapters Gaiman outlines Bod’s life in the graveyard, formatting each chapter like a  short story, each one providing a glimpse of Bod at a different age.

My favorite chapter was Chapter 4, when Bod leaves the graveyard for the first time. Although he is trying to do a good deed for a new friend, he unknowingly puts himself in great danger and almost back into the hands of Jack. As the story unfolds so does Gaiman’s wonderful world, where we learn exactly why Bod is so important and what he must do to survive.

This book is classic Gaiman and I love him for it. Expertly written, endlessly creative and heartfelt, I would recommend The Graveyard Book to adults and children alike. If you’re unfamiliar with Gaiman, I would suggest perhaps one of my favorite short story collections of all time, Smoke in Mirrors.

Reviewed by: Kim

Novel: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Read: January 2011
Source: Local book store (Powell’s)

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