Monday, March 15, 2010

The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman
HarperCollins Children's Books 2008

An orphan boy, adopted by ghosts on the night he was to be murdered, grows up in secret in an ancient graveyard. The ghosts name him Nobody, and give him the power to move in their world. The ghosts keep him hidden as long as they can, but in the end, Bod must confront the man who murdered his parents and wants to kill him too.

There's plenty of darkness in this story, but also plenty of light. I loved the ghosts, people from all centuries, who banded together to keep Bod safe from the murderer. Bod's adventures---being kidnapped by ghouls, braving the haunted barrow deep under the graveyard, and even attending the local public school---all prepare him for the final showdown with the man who has wanted him dead all his life.

Neil Gaiman shows off his mastery of language, of character, and of storytelling in this very engaging read. I loved how the intriguing world unfolded slowly, with dropped hints at the powers Bod has grown up with and so takes for granted.

A clever, spooky read for ages twelve and up.

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