I know I’ve dropped the ball on this one—every other blogger seems to have had an Advanced Reading Copy of this book for months and months. I, however, have had to subsist on these other blog reviews and the odd mention on the author’s website. Finally, however, just in time for Halloween: The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaimain.
Nobody Owens, (Bod for short) has grown up in a graveyard. Not near a graveyard. Not next to a graveyard. Actually in a graveyard. His whole family was murdered when he was just two years old, and he escaped by toddling into the graveyard, where he was adopted by the ghosts. He’s raised by two of the ghosts (Mr. and Mistress Owens, who died almost 300 years before), guarded by Silas, who lives in the crypt and is . . . neither living nor dead, and taught, nurtured and protected by the rest of the denizens of the graveyard. Why do they need to protect him? Because no one knows why his family was killed–and the murderer is still looking for him.
I know, I know–it sounds unremittingly grim, terrifying, even. And I cannot deny that it is scary. But it’s also by turns charming, bittersweet, illuminating, and gripping. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes ghosts, mysteries, atmosphere and even coming-of-age stories. Happy Halloween!
(Bonus points if you figured out the title’s reference to a classic of children’s literature–The Jungle Book!).
Posted by: Sarah