Friday, November 2, 2012

Book Review -- The Graveyard Book


The Graveyard BookThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
My enjoyment rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book source:  Library
Genre: Juvenile/YA fiction (won the Newbery Award (juv), but cataloged at our library in the YA section)
Sensitive reader:  the opening scene (a murder) could be difficult for young readers -- but it's something I would let Daisy Daughter (11 yrs old) read.
 

What do you get when you combine a horrific murder, an orphaned baby, and an ancient graveyard: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman -- the perfect book to read for Halloween -- ghosts, witches, ghouls, spells, caskets, crypts – and an unlikely survivor, Bod Owens.

I really enjoyed this book. Just the right amount of spooky without being terrifying. Just the right amount of sinister without being evil (except for the murder part). A group of ghosts that were amazingly creative, unique and loving – like the people they once were. The author does a great job creating an atmosphere of Dickens’ England, but set in modern day.

I think my only quibble with the book (OK 2 quibbles) is: the reason Bod survives his family’s massacre and why he has been targeted by the “Order of Jacks” is fuzzy at best. The author failed to make the correlation the least bit clear. And anytime you include an orphaned boy, the boy’s mentor, a female friend, a pit with a snake – one is immediately reminded of ANOTHER book with an orphaned boy, a boy’s mentor, a female friend, and a pit with a snake. Surely a talent like Neil Gaiman could have come up with something else. Come on. Give it a try.

That said, I still really liked the book. A good choice from my friend Liz.