Idgiepug’s CBR#4 Review #24: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
I’m going to take a moment to turn this review into a confessional of sorts. Forgive me, fellow Cannonballers, for I have sinned. I am not a fan of Neil Gaiman.
There. I said it. It’s not that I DISlike Gaiman’s work; I’ve just never particularly sought it out. I’m not much into comic books to begin with (another confession), so I wasn’t exposed to his work in that medium. I received a free copy of Coraline at a conference a few years ago and enjoyed it, but I didn’t like it enough to go out and find more of Gaiman’s books. I’d heard good things about The Graveyard Book, though, so I snagged it off the Newberry Award shelf at the library and gave it a read. I’m so glad that I did. It’s one of the best kids’ books I’ve read in a long time.
The novel begins with a toddler boy unwittingly escaping the murder of his family. He toddles his way into a graveyard where he is “adopted” by the ghosts of those buried in the cemetery with the help of Silas, a mysterious man who is able to pass between the worlds of the living and the dead. The child, called Nobody, Bod for short, lives a fairly peaceful existence until he begins wanting to know more about the outside world and about his past.
It’s a dark little book for kids, but it’s an excellent read. In this novel, Gaiman gets the right mix of suspense and creepiness to keep kids interested. I’ll definitely pass the book on to the little pug when he gets a couple of years on him.