The Graveyard Book is a children’s novel by the English author Neil Gaiman. Apart from Harry Potter it’s been long since I’ve read a children’s novel. Must be when I was studying to become a school teacher. Always liked it.
The book starts with a multiple murder. Not very common for a children’s book, I should say. Except for the two-year-old son, all members of a family are brutally murdered by “the man Jack”. The toddler escapes unnoticed, walks out the front door and trots all the way up the hill to a graveyard full op ghosts. A ghost couple decides they will take him in and raise him. His own guardian “Silas” will protect the boy, now known as Nobody or Bod Owens. Bod gets to know all the dead and also some living people, he makes friends, makes mistakes, is growing up and has adventures while all those years “the man Jack” is trying to find the boy to kill him. Will he succeed?
I won’t tell you. You better read the book yourself. I’m sure you’ll like it. Children as well as adults will. If you’ enjoyed the Harry Potter-series, you’ll enjoy this great fantasy novel also. Gaiman created a wonderful world in a graveyard. Nothing sinister about it. On the contrary, it must be a delightful place to grow up. Bod is an interesting, charming character. The ghosts and other creatures he meets are compelling. I highly recommend reading this novel to ages 8-80.
Quote from The Graveyard Book “If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained”
I really love Neil Gaiman’s website for young readers where he reads his Newbery Medal-winning novel in its entirety. Reviews of the Graveyard Book are published in The New York Times and The Guardian.