27 March 2011

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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 timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. 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 things like ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other. This chilling tale is Neil Gaiman's first full-length novel for middle-grade readers since the internationally bestselling and universally acclaimed Coraline. Like Coraline, this book is sure to enchant and surprise young readers as well as Neil Gaiman's legion of adult fans.

This Hugo and Newberry Award winning book is worth all the critical acclaim. The plot is a great one: a young boy escapes death by assassin to become the ward of ghosts in a cemetery. He has to endure figuring out who he is while also dealing with being raised by ghosts, knowing he is different, and not being allowed to leave the cemetery. Bod is a great character, too. I think he's totally believable as a person who was raised by ghosts in a cemetery. I like how he reaches out to Scarlett and the "unacceptable" ghosts. I also liked the drive in Jack, although I did feel that his storyline was left unresolved. Silas and Miss Lupescu are great guardians, and I love how Miss Lupescu is the typical English "horrid babysitter" while breaking the stereotype because she's a fighter interested in the occult. The only other female in this book, Death, is intriguing because it is not often you see death personified as female, but the mysterious "Lady on the Grey" is seen as the overseer and ruler of all the ghosts, yet she remains mysterious and aloof so all the mystique of death is still intact. This is a difficult balance to find in a book that goes so in depth about the afterlife. I do wish we had seen more of the Owens because they didn't seem very parental, but I think this is because we didn't really see them in parental stages in Bod's life, so I'm ok with it. In all, the book was pretty perfect, and I wouldn't hesitate to hand it to any twelve year old I know.

No comments:

Post a Comment