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The Graveyard Book

What can I say about the book I have just finished? Well, I can say with total truth that this book is definitely an interesting read. The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, was awarded the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to American literature for children in 2008. My personal opinion of the book was that it lacked information in the beginning, but summed it all up at the end with twists at every corner. Many others disagree about the book and say that it was exciting and entertaining the whole ride. Just remember, don’t judge a book by its cover, whether kind or cruel.

Neil Gaiman demonstrates amazing writing skills with this book. He knows how to really write a good mystery. The book starts off in a peaceful home with a sleeping family. Then a murderer breaks into the house and murders all but one small baby boy. He climbs from his crib and is up and crawling out of the house in no time. That is when the baby stumbles and tumbles down a hill into a graveyard, and that’s when his real story begins.

Nobody Owens (Bod) is just like your average kid—that is, if the average kid lives in a graveyard full of ghosts, witches, mummies, werewolves, vampires, ghouls, spirits, and other things you would only expect to find in a book. As a small child Bod had a friend named Scarlett, but after her parents move to Scotland Bod has nobody but those in the graveyard. It has been 13 years since the day he came to the graveyard and the one who murdered his family is still out looking for him.

When Bod decides to get his friend (the witch in the graveyard) a present, he must go to the lair of the sleer where they await their master. As Bod goes out into the real world, he gets into a little trouble. A year later Bod is reacquainted with an old friend, and also with the murderer from his past.

This book is written from a child’s point of view, so there are a few things that may seem unclear in the story, but eventually work themselves out in the end. This is a book I would recommend for the ages of ten and up as long as they understand the context of the book.

Parent Warning: although there’s no graphic violence in this book, the scenario of the murder of the family could disturb younger readers.

I give this book three stars (a decent read) because although I feel that it initially lacks information, in the end an exciting twist brings it all to a satisfying conclusion.

Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book. fiction, illustrated by Dave McKean, published by Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0060530921, 320 pages, $17.99. Available also on Amazon Kindle.

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Author info

Tess Vogel Tess Vogel Tess Vogel is a junior high student at Clark Fork Jr/Sr High School

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