The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
Published on October 6th 2009
Genres: Adolescence, Middle Grade, Paranormal
Also by this author: The Sleeper and the Spindle, The Graveyard Book
In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.
Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are beings such as ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other.
The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal and is a Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel.
The Graveyard Book is my second book by Neil Gaiman (I read The Sleeper and the Spindle, which was awesome). This book was truly amazing, but I won’t go into too much detail since Leah already reviewed it and she did an incredible job (See Leah’s review).
Bod’s parents are murdered, but the curious baby escaped through a window when he heard a sound and walked up the hill to the graveyard. There some of the dead (ghosts and spirits) find him and protect him from the killer. In order to keep him safe, Mr. and Mrs. Owens adopt him and it is decided that he gets the freedom of the graveyard, which allows him to see, hear, and be anywhere there. The baby is named Nobody Owens – Bod for short – and his Silas, the resident vampire becomes his guardian.
“It is going to take more than just a couple of good-hearted souls to raise this child. It will take a graveyard.”
The story is written in the third person and it reads like short stories. In them we meet different characters, and get to follow Bod’s adventures and growth from a toddler until he is about 15. The stories don’t feel disjointed at all since they have Bod in common. Bod is curious, smart, with an avid hunger for learning and reading. He’s eager to experience life, but it’s bound to the protection that the Graveyard offers since the killer is still out there and looking for him.
I won’t lie, the story is a times creepy, and others sad and the ending made me cry. I loved it though. The writing is engrossing, and at times chilling and moving. I won’t lie, it made me cry at the end…. I just wish that we could have seen what happens to Bod after he leaves the Graveyard, what becomes of him,
There’s an amazing cast of characters in the story, from Bod’s adoptive parents, to characters from different centuries, a witch, ghouls, shape shifters, Silas (a vampire), poets, governors and all sort of other people that help raise and teach the little boy. There’s also living characters, like Scarlet and of course, there’s bad people.
“You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.”
Overall, The Graveyard Book is a memorable story of loss, love, the power in knowing, friendship and possibility. I loved it.