Reading for a Lifetime Together

The Graveyard Book
April 5, 2010, 1:37 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


After reading Coraline, I knew I could never pass up the chance to read a work by Neil Gaiman. The Graveyard Book is about a young boy named Nobody Owens, though he goes simply by Bod. As a very young child, Bod’s family is killed by a man referred to simply as “the man Jack.” Bod ends up running into a nearby graveyard where a mysterious man manages to drive away the murderer. Although he may have escaped his pursuer, Bod encounters something much more intimidating: the dead. A dead couple, Mr. and Mrs. Owens, end up adopting Bod as their son, and the people of the graveyard end up taking Bod in as one of their own. They give him a right called “the Freedom of the Graveyard” which enables him to interact with the ghosts and allows him to perform some ghostly actions.

Bod manages to get a semi-normal education, but when he ventures into the outside world to attend public school, he ends up making a spectacle, and the organization that the man Jack works for gets wind of it. Now that they know where Bod is and that he is, in fact, still alive, Bod must face his family’s killer once again. Luckily, however, he isn’t quite alone.

Add in a dash of romance, a few illustrations, a few side adventures into the realm of the dead, and you have a classic Gaiman-style masterpiece. Although this book was by no means a difficult read, just because the story has a child protagonist does not mean that older readers feel alienated. In fact, the book touches on some serious themes that appeal to younger and older readers alike. The unpredictability of the story is what keeps it interesting, and The Graveyard Book never disappoints.

– Eli Bernstein


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