The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Later printing edition (September 30, 2008)
From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—Somewhere in contemporary Britain, “the man Jack” uses his razor-sharp knife to murder a family, but the youngest, a toddler, slips away. The boy ends up in a graveyard, where the ghostly inhabitants adopt him to keep him safe. Nobody Owens, so named because he “looks like nobody but himself,” grows up among a multigenerational cast of characters from different historical periods that includes matronly Mistress Owens; ancient Roman Caius Pompeius; an opinionated young witch; a melodramatic hack poet; and Bod’s beloved mentor and guardian, Silas, who is neither living nor dead and has secrets of his own. As he grows up, Bod has a series of adventures, both in and out of the graveyard, and the threat of the man Jack who continues to hunt for him is ever present. Bod’s love for his graveyard family and vice versa provide the emotional center, amid suspense, spot-on humor, and delightful scene-setting. The child Bod’s behavior is occasionally too precocious to be believed, and a series of puns on the name Jack render the villain a bit less frightening than he should be, though only momentarily. Aside from these small flaws, however, Gaiman has created a rich, surprising, and sometimes disturbing tale of dreams, ghouls, murderers, trickery, and family
Actually, that’s a pretty good review from Amazon!
Indeed it begins with a murder and a very young child wandering off into a graveyard where the “inhabitants” find him, and with his mother’s blessing, decide to care for him.
Among the many graveyard people Sirus is the one who became his Guardian. Silus was neither dead nor alive. Sirus could leave the graveyard and bring food and clothing back for Bod. Sirus was his constant.. his protector.. his teacher. Sirus was a really good character.
Then there was the witch Liza Hempstock. LIza was buried on unholy ground and had no headstone to mark where she was buried. Bod thought she deserved a headstone and went about trying to get her one.. Liza was another one of those really good characters. She kinda made me think of looking for her the next time I go into a graveyard.
Our villain “Jack” was always there in the background, always a constant and always looking to kill Bod.
I have only read two Gaiman books. This one and Stardust, and weird as it may seem.. I think I like this one better than Stardust! :o)
Should you ask if I would recommend this book, I have to say yes!
Thus concludes my first book for Carl’s RIP challenge!!