Hello fellow ghouls and witches!
Since Halloween is Tuesday I thought a dark novel would be appropriate for the October Book Talk. Earlier this month I went searching for a great Halloween read, I picked up the classics (Lovecraft and King) and kept putting them down. I then realized that a new Halloween read was in store, something that I have never read before. This led me to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
This novel has been out for a few years (since 2008 to be exact), but it’s something one should read to get into the Halloween spirit! Graveyard is marketed as a children’s fantasy novel, and it includes a few illustrations by Dave McKean. With this being said, you can find it shelved in the adult science fiction and fantasy section with a different cover, right next to the graphic novel adaption.
Most know this novel to be Gaiman’s adaption of The Jungle Book, but the setting is among the dead and not the beasts of the lush jungle. After reading the novel it’s easy to see the similarities, but I don’t think you should go into this book expecting an exact replica of The Jungle Book. You will not be disappointed; the story keeps the reader interested and the character development is amazing.
In the first chapter the reader encounters Nobody Owens, also known as Bod. He is a toddler that has just mindlessly stumbled into the graveyard, not realizing that someone is coming to murder him. The residents within the cemetery understand that Bod’s life is at risk, so they come together and make a decision to raise the boy as their own.
As Bod grows up he begins to ask questions about the town outside of the wrought iron gates. His guardian, Silas, tries to keep him safe by telling him to not leave the confinements of home. Bod does not listen and eventually comes face to face with the man that tried to kill him years before.
It may seem as if I gave a bit too much away, but trust me, I didn’t even tell you a sixteenth of the story!
I couldn’t put this book down. As I read I felt for Nobody Owens and those of the living and dead he encountered. All my questions were answered by the end of the story too, which is very important to me!
Graveyard has won four awards and deserves it. If you are looking for a new ghoul-filled read, look no further. Do not let the category of “children’s” scare you away. There are a lot of lessons to be learned for young and old in this story, and it’s one the whole family can enjoy.