Wow this review is quite late. I have a backlog of about six books that I need to review. Ooops. Anyhoos, I didn’t want to skip my review of The Graveyard Book since I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy novel. Last month, I participated in a group read of the novel. The review below is spoiler free.
Some of you may have heard “It takes a village to raise a child.” Gaiman changes this notion a tad. Instead of a village, he writes of a graveyard raising a child. Nobody “Bod” Owens is alive and he’s lucky to be alive. The man Jack killed his entire family. During the attack, Bod is a toddler who wanders off and ends up in a graveyard. Mr. and Mrs. Owens, two ghosts, discover the child and decide to raise him with the help of Silas, who is not of the living or dead. However, the man Jack hasn’t completed his mission. He was sent to kill Bod and he intends to finish the job. Can Bod survive growing up in a graveyard and the man Jack?
Gaiman came up with this idea during a visit to a graveyard with his son. As he watched his son ride a bike through the cemetery he realized his son looked at ease playing in the cemetery. He started to consider writing a story like The Jungle Book set in a graveyard. However, he felt he wasn’t ready to write this story yet. He wanted to hone his craft first.
Turns out he made a wise choice. This novel, published in 2008, won the British Carnegie Medal and the American Newbery Medal. This was the first time one work received both of these awards. In addition, he won the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book.
If you are in the mood for some ghostly fun I highly recommend this novel. Not only was it a delightful read, but the character Bod won a place in my heart. If Gaiman continued Bod’s story I would be one of the first in line to purchase it.
This novel fits in with my Award Winning Books challenge.