Monday, July 27, 2009

The Graveyard Book (Newbery Award Winner)

by Neil Gaiman

A little baby toddles off to the graveyard one night, narrowly escaping a murderous villain named Jack, who dispatches the baby's entire family. In order to protect the child, the ghosts of the graveyard adopt the boy, keeping him safe from harm, naming him Nobody Owens - "Bod" for short. As he grows, Bod is able to live the life of ghosts. Taught by ghosts and his guardian Silas, he learns fading, dream walking, passing through doors and walls, and even haunting. But as time goes on, Bod wants to venture out of the graveyard and find out what happened to his family and to be among the living - even though the man Jack is still hunting him. The book is full of colorful characters each with a unique voice - hounds of hell, murderers, ghosts, witches, ghouls, a slayer, and more. Gaiman is extremely clever the way he crafts the tale, with surprises around every turn of the page. For such a dark setting, it has some humorous parts as well. My favorite character is the poet, Nehemiah Trot! The audio version is fantastic, read by the author.


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