Book Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

October 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Graveyard Book was an interesting read for me because when I was in the Middle Grade age range (about 8-12 years old) I wouldn’t have liked it at all (because it would’ve scared the pants off me).  I probably wouldn’t have made it past the first chapter, but that would’ve been a shame.  The book begins with the murder of two-year-old Bod’s family.  He was supposed to be killed too, but by a stroke of luck he wandered out of the house and up the road to a nearby graveyard.  He is taken in and raised by the ghosts that live there as well as a solitary guardian who is neither alive or dead.

The Graveyard Book is a ghost story turned on its head where the ghosts are the benevolent, slightly ridiculous characters in the novel and the little “haunting” that goes on is well-deserved by misbehaving children.  The first half of the book covers ten years of Bods life, telling highlights of his strange upbringing in the graveyard.  The second half of the book increases the pace and tension (I won’t tell you how) and Gaiman does a brilliant job tying in all the episodes from the first half.

A great read that I would recommend for all but the faint of heart, and a Newbury Award winner to boot.

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