Blurb (as on Goodreads):
After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…
‘The Graveyard Book’ by Neil Gaiman is about Bod aka Nobody Owens- a boy brought up on a Graveyard. His parents were murdered when he was an infant and his curiosity brought him to the Graveyard, where he was adopted by the Owens.
Bod lives with Ghosts, they teach him all about life and spoil him with all kinds of stories. Bod also has a guardian- Silas, a mysterious man standing between the fine line of life and death.
The Jungle Book was the inspiration beyond this spooky, adventurous novel and I can see why. Here are a couple of reasons why ‘The Graveyard Book’ should be your next pick:
- Neil Gaiman has created a fantastic world. The graveyard is a treasure trove of sorts. There are so many different layers to the story.
- The characters are diverse. There are ghosts from all over the world and from different time periods. This means that there are some amazing stories of the bygone years. These ghosts also add to the overall thrill and spookiness of the plot. There are mysterious treasures, witches and a Grey Lady too. The living adds another dimension to the plot with their predictability and vulnerability.
- There is a perfect mix of thrill and adventure. While Bod discovers many secrets, he also finds a purpose.
- The language is the highlight of the book. The author has kept the language simple, without compromising with the seriousness of the plot. A perfect read for children who demand adventure of sorts but also require a simpler plot with interesting, memorable characters.
- Additional points for the Audiobook narrated by the author himself. If you wanna get the whole deal out of this book, listening to the audiobook is recommended. Neil Gaiman not only knows how to write an adventure but to narrate one too. I think the audiobook made me love the story way more than actually reading it.
Let’s look at a couple of Goodreads review because they will give you more reasons to pick this marvelous book up.
- I once heard someone postulate that maybe Neil Gaiman wrote it just so that he could play with the sentence “It takes a graveyard to raise a child.” Unlikely. Fun, but unlikely. I mean, he does make a casual allusion that isn’t far off from that phrase, but he never goes whole hog. This book doesn’t feel like it was written to back up a joke. It feels like a book written by a parent with children growing up and moving out. It’s a title that tips its hat to kids making their way in the world, their pasts behind them, their futures unknown. This is not yet another silly little fantasy novel, but something with weight and depth. The fact that it just happens to be loads of fun to boot is simply a nice bonus.- Betsy Bird
- Neil Gaiman has a real knack for the imaginative combination of sweet and creepy elements together with the bittersweet ending, creating a unique and unforgettable story which appeals both to children and adults. This story has just the right mix of sweetness, whimsy, sadness, suspense, and adventures to keep the reader captivated throughout.- Nataliya
- Many times I felt as if the book was tailor-made for a young mark monday, what with the eerie atmosphere, the ambiguity, the graveyard, adventure mixed with sadness, life and death existing side by side, and at the core of it all, an unusual and genuinely loving family – but a created family, not necessarily a family by blood. But I’m an adult and I still feel a deep connection to the book. All those things above are still things that connect me to a novel, of course, but my feelings about many of those things have intensified- Mark Monday
- …… I have to say it was, for me, the most well-written of all of Gaiman’s books that I’ve read. I kept seeing things that I associated as Gaimanisms, but they felt absolutely right here. Weapons wielded by someone for so long that they’ve become part of their arms. – Maggie Stiefvater
- Short, funny, entertaining and at times, a bit sad. It had everything – suspense, crime, the dead dancing with the living, lots of action, ghouls, ghosts, wolves, a dead witch, family, friendship and more than anything else, Life. A must read for all, at least once!- Tanvi