The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

September 2011 Hermionie Miranda (Hufflepuff)

Many people in HOL appreciate not only the wonders of Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, but also the fantasy/sci-fi/horror stories by another British author, Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman has written many famous books such as Stardust, American Gods, Good Omens, also one of my favorites called Coraline. Along with these he has also written the book called The Graveyard Book, which I suggest for good reading for all ages. The Graveyard Book won the prestigious Newbery Medal in 2008, which is awarded yearly to the best piece of outstanding children's literature per year.

Note: The following paragraphs are the actual review, and they may reveal some main parts of the plot about the book. Read at your own risk!

The story begins when a character called "the man Jack" (only to have his name revealed later in the book) kills three members of a family of four. The last target, a young toddler, crawls out of his crib and escapes through his window before the man Jack can get him too. The young boy crawls through his neighborhood and winds up at a graveyard. He is soon discovered by a ghost couple at the graveyard, and is protected by them when the man Jack comes around to finish the deed. The dead mother of the young boy's ghost comes by to tell the woman of the ghost couple to protect her son. It is then that after a long meeting, the members of the graveyard decide to let the boy stay and give him the freedom of the graveyard. Soon he is named Nobody Owens, Owens being the last name of the ghost couple who volunteers to adopt him, and he is called Bod. During this time a guardian for the Bod is also selected, a mysterious man named Silas, who is neither living or dead.

Over his time at the graveyard Bod explores all kinds of places, meets all kinds of living, dead, and in-between people, and of course, gets into trouble. Luckily every time he gets into trouble, his friends are always there to help him out. He learns many life lessons, but he also has teachers in the graveyard, who teach him basic subjects like Reading, Math, and History, along with other classes that will come in handy for avoiding the man Jack and others who are after him, such as Fading and Dream Walking. He also takes a chance at school. which doesn't work out too well. All in all, he is kept busy, and away from harm. And all this time, the man Jack is still after him.

After so many close calls in other situations, Bod faces not only danger, but issues in finding friendship and love. But no matter what, he also makes the best of it, and that's what I love about him.

What I love about this story is that its honest. The feelings are true. The book is very fascinating when it comes to capturing each moment and experience of Bod's, and it makes you feel as if you're INSIDE the story. You feel the right reaction whenever you reach a surprising part or a horrible discovery. The mystery and suspense keeps you going. Neil Gaiman has written a fabulous story about a young boy raised by graveyard ghosts, but it is so much more than that. This story really spoke to me, and asked me about what I wanted in life, and how I should feel grateful for what I have. Even if Bod could never leave the graveyard, he made the best of it. He explored and met new people, things many of us have to do through frequent traveling. The curiosity in Bod keeps the story alive, which is why I give it a 5/5.