Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family.
Some of the things I like are:
The story as the synopsis says begins with a murder, but I love the way he describes the escape of the baby which was actually his way of breaking free from the confines of the crib and he not knowing his delinquency is ensures he's escape from a murderer. It’s adorable how he alludes this “man Jack” simply because happenstance happens to be on his side.This scene also detracts from the gruesome nature of the beginning as this is afterall a children's book.
The way Gaiman includes history lessons in his books, along with the entertainment and children unwittingly will learn something (as my son did), such as about the Salem Witch Trials or the Romans, the native American customs, etc.
He communicates key concepts to children, like bravery, compassion, making choices, growing up, learning from mistakes, using initiative and imagination…..all of them taught sort of subliminally.
Of course in his way of storytelling everything is real and true. You never for a single moment doubt that ghouls are resultant from evil and greedy men who turn into them in the afterlife or question that there are such things as “Hounds of God”.
This is a truly unique story and I have never come across anything like it but that it so true of Neil Gaiman’s imagination anyway. If you read his books you have to ask yourself the question, where does it all come from. Whenever I think of commenting on any of his books I find myself lacking in anything to compare him to. I think long after he has gone we can expect to find him spoken of with the same adoration as literary luminary like JRR Tolkien, C.S Lewis, Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and so on.
His writing is truly mesmerizing and I find the Graveyard book wraps you up in magic and won’t let go. The only problem is that the book comes to an end. I have tried to defy this by buying it is every version imaginable in hopes of finding something extra, for example I have it in several print versions because it was worked on by different illustrators.
Gaiman won both the British Carnegie Medal and the American Newbery Medal recognising year's best children's books, the first time both named the same work. The Graveyard Book also won the annual Hugo Award for Best Novel from the World Science Fiction Convention and Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book selected by Locus magazine subscribers.
Some of you will remember that I copied the whole of the book as read by Neil from You Tube and posted it here from you incase you want to sample before you invest in the audio book I've included in the slideshow below. Neil Gaiman Reading The Graveyard Book