Monday, March 30, 2009

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Imagine growing up in a graveyard, with ghosts for parents and a vampire as your guardian. Imagine not learning lessons like math from teachers in school, but learning fading and dream walking from other graveyard inhabitants.

This is the life of Bod, short for Nobody, Owens. After the murder of his parents as a baby, Bod escapes to the graveyard where he is raised by ghosts and other graveyard dwellers. Each chapter is an event in Bod's life, and while all of the stories go together each could easily be read as a short story.

Neil Gaimen was inspired to write this story after watching his young son ride his bike in a graveyard. He wondered what it would be like if the Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling) took place in a graveyard, and over 20 years later we have The Graveyard Book.

This was a well told series of stories and I found it hard to put the book down. Yes, it does have some scary moments, but the ghosts become more real and kind than some of the "real" people in the book, and Bod is a curious and realistic boy who happens to grow up in a cemetery. The Graveyard Book is recommended to fans of ghost stories and fans of magical stories.

This is the 2009 Newbery Award winner, which honors "the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children". (What this means is a bunch of librarians think this is the best book of the year for children). Do you agree?

I'll see you @ the library!
Katie (Who is waiting with lion like patience for City of Glass)

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