Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Dave McKean
Publication Date: September 2008
Genre(s): Fiction, Fantasy
There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.
The man Jack is on a mission to murder a family of four. After killing the parents and the young girl, only the toddler remains — easy enough, right? But the boy escapes and is taken in by the graveyard ghosts up on the hill. The boy becomes Nobody Owens (Bod, for short). The man Jack is still out there, waiting to find Bod and finish what he started, so Bod remains in the graveyard where he is safe. But what kind of life can Bod have surrounded by the dead?
Let me describe this book in three words: pure one-of-a-kind awesomeness (and yes, one-of-a-kind counts as one word). Neil Gaiman is a master storyteller; all of his plots are original, unique, and fascinating. I wish I had the imagination of Neil Gaiman. Not only can he create the craziest stories, but he knows how to tell them, too. I guarantee you have not read anything like The Graveyard Book. It is a book for all ages to enjoy — never before have I read a novel that classifies as a children’s, middle-grade, and young adult novel. It was fascinating and interesting through all 300 pages. Even the first page — hell, the first line captivated me. Starting out with a murder is gruesome and amazing. I have nothing but praise for Neil Gaiman.
I fell in love with all the characters of this book. Bod was so endearing and the perfect protagonist. We as readers get to watch him grow from toddler to adolescent — we see him fail and succeed, learning something new every day. He’s smart and resourceful even as a toddler. Silas, his guardian, was also a great character. Even though he’s pretty old, I imagined his voice was like Howl’s from Howl’s Moving Castle — don’t ask me why. I liked him and all the things he did for Bod. I’d say my favorite character was Liza, though. Who doesn’t like a ghost witch? She helped out Bod countless times and she was such an endearing character. I kind of hated Samantha, but oh well.
I cannot complain about anything in Neil Gaiman’s novels. Literally nothing. I don’t know if there is anything worth complaining about. He’s one of my favorite contemporary writers and he has earned that place in my heart. Like I said, he knows how to tell a story. His writing is magnificent, and to hear him read it himself is entrancing. I absolutely adore Neil Gaiman and I encourage everyone to read his works, especially The Graveyard Book.
Favorite Quote(s): People want to forget the impossible. It makes their world safer.