Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

In The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman has created a charming allegory of childhood. Although the book opens with a scary scene--a family is stabbed to death by "a man named Jack” --the story quickly moves into more child-friendly storytelling. The sole survivor of the attack--an 18-month-old baby--escapes his crib and his house, and toddles to a nearby graveyard. Quickly recognizing that the baby is orphaned, the graveyard's ghostly residents adopt him, name him Nobody ("Bod"), and allow him to live in their tomb. Taking inspiration from Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Gaiman describes how the toddler navigates among the headstones, asking a lot of questions and picking up the tricks of the living and the dead. In serial-like episodes, the story follows Bod's progress as he grows from baby to teen, learning life’s lessons amid a cadre of the long-dead, ghouls, witches, intermittent human interlopers. A pallid, nocturnal guardian named Silas ensures that Bod receives food, books, and anything else he might need from the human world. Whenever the boy strays from his usual play among the headstones, he finds new dangers, learns his limitations and strengths, and acquires the skills he needs to survive within the confines of the graveyard and in wider world beyond. From Goodreads.

This was very good and quite different. An orphaned boy who grows up in a graveyard and is looked after by ghosts. There is a very dark side to this story but nothing too graphic. It is a children's book so an easy read.

This book qualifies for:
2014 Ebook challenge
2014 Literary Exploration Reading Challenge (children's book)
You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
Crazy Challenge Connection Chinese New Year Challenge (Pigletto's bookshelf - she is a dragon)
Crazy Challenge Connection - Dr. Seuss
Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
Ten Book Author Train Challenge
Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (G-eagle)
CCC-Read your age
Crazy Challenge Connection 2014 RaT #2
Dansk Readathon March 2014

1 comment:

  1. I read and enjoyed this book when one of my students told me I 'had to read it'! Just here to say, link up for reviews for Full House at any time. Even if you wrote them in February they can be linked in March or any month. Thanks for asking the question on my blog, helps me to clarify!