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Friday, June 29, 2012

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Summary: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is one of the 2012-2013 Sunshine State Books in Florida.  I originally read it when it first came out in hardback, as I am a huge fan of Gaiman’s work.  I picked it up again to re-read after the Sunshine State book list came out, and loved it just as much the second time around.
On a dark misty night, a man moves soundlessly through a house leaving a trail of death behind him.  A man, a woman, a little girl; all left motionless in his wake.  But somehow, by some twist of fate, a baby escapes and ends up in a nearby graveyard, where the resident ghosts take on the task of raising him and keeping him safe.
Thus begins the story of Nobody Owens, an orphan raised within the safety of the graveyard by the deceased, with help from his guardian, Silas, who is neither living nor dead. Nobody’s education consists of more than reading and writing; he must also learn to Fade, disappearing from the sight of the living.  His friends range from colonial children to a young witch, and his teachers have centuries of knowledge to share.  Unfortunately, none of it is from the current century.
Despite their best efforts, his ghostly parents and protectors cannot keep him safe forever.  Nobody longs to see the world outside the graveyard, even if it means drawing the attention of the man who killed his family; the man who is still looking to kill him as well.
The Graveyard Book is full of action and introspection.  Nobody is a character that I quickly became attached to, even when he was acting childish (he is, after all, a child) and making the wrong choices.  The end of the book is satisfying, but also makes me wonder… the perfect combination for me as a reader.

Age Appropriateness:
12 and up

Areas of concern (content):

Foul Language: none
Nudity/Adult Content: none
Violence: moderate
Bloggers note:  I have created a novel guide for The Graveyard Book which includes comprehension and extension/discussion questions, vocabulary, test questions, essay prompts, and other activities.  It can be purchased on Amazon  or through CreateSpace.

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