The Graveyard Book

by Neil Gaiman

Basic Summary: A mystery man goes to murder an entire family. He misses the baby, who somehow manages to make his way to the local graveyard. As the murderer attempts to get the baby, the graveyard ghosts opt to adopt the baby as their own – giving him the name of Nobody “Bod” Owens and the power to live as a living ghost amongst the graves. (More or less). But as the years pass, the murderer is still out to finish the job he started and Bod must learn to navigate both the living and the dead.

Kell’s Chatty Review: When I finally got around to reading The Graveyard Book I have to say I was pleased. It wasn’t a book that I had to finish immediately, although I can see middle schoolers feeling that way, but it was a pleasant read. I say pleasant, although most people call it chilling. I found it cool. Gaiman managed to make me believe that this “living-ghost” existence (my term, not his…at least I don’t think…) was completely plausible. The thought and depth that went into it were amazing.

I know it’s a retelling of The Jungle Book, which I have never read, so I can’t comment if it’s a good retelling or not. However, I can say that the book read to me like a series of short stories that happened to have an common underlying storyline. And it totally worked.

Is it worth the read: I think so. Although I could see teens really not liking it. I also think that a lot of adults would find it very interesting.

What this book taught me about life: Ghosts are awesome. And sometimes, vampires and werewolves and the like are the good guys. And not just cause how they look.

What I most want to do after reading this book: It’s a toss up between explore a graveyard and read The Jungle Book.

Favorite Passage: Rich man, poor man come away/Come to dance the Macabray” and anything Liza Hempstock said. (The Graveyard Book, pg. 144)

What ghost ability I’d like to have: To be able to see in the dark. Seriously, I’m sick of running into things.

Re-Readability Rating: 3.4ish. This isn’t a book I’ll pick up a lot. But I can see myself thinking about it abstractly and then wanting to go reread the passage I was reminded of. If I was 12, though, I’d reread it all the time.


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