I just finished reading THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman and I just simply loved this story.  Obviously, I’m not alone.  It won the 2009 Newbery Medal and the Hugo Award.  Neil Gaiman has a fantastic list of titles, including CORALINE, M IS FOR MAGIC, and MIRRORMASK.  I highly recommend visiting his website where there is, among other things, Graveyard Book Sudoku.  I’m very bad at Sudoku but I can’t seem to stop playing.

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is the story of Nobody Owens.  His parents and sister were murdered when he was an infant.  By a lucky turn of events, he escapes the killer, ending up in a graveyard and raised by a community of ghosts.  They accept him as one of their own and teach him such nifty skills as how to fade from sight, make people feel fear, and how to haunt a person’s dreams.  As long as he remains in the graveyard, he’s safe from the strange, not-quite-human man who killed his family.  But Nobody, known as Bod, wants to see the world.  He wants to be around other living people.  For a boy like Bod, these are very dangerous wants.

There is a lovely cast of characters in this book.  You follow the upbringing of Bod, whose story starts when he is only a year old.  His ghostly adopted parents, Mr. and Mistress Owens, and his neither-dead-nor-living guardian, Silas, are his primary caregivers but there is a variety of the restless dead that see to his education.  And there is one human friend, a deliciously imperfect girl named Scarlett, who gives a relief to Bod’s loneliness.  On the evil side of the story is Jack, the man who continues to look for the little boy who escaped his blade.  Also, there are a couple of human bullies, Mo and Nick, who provide a wonderful foil for Bod’s morality.

The book is set in an ancient British graveyard.  The setting is very small but the world building is huge.  And I’ll tackle this topic more in the character/setting post on Wednesday.  Until next time.