Review Blog

Jan 07 2010

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

cover image

Illustrated by Chris Riddell. Bloomsbury, 2009. ISBN 9780747594802.
(Ages 11- 15 years) This book is highly recommended but probably not for the faint-hearted. What an unexpected, exciting and intriguing read. The beginning of the story is possibly the creepiest I have read! A toddler narrowly escapes the murderous intent of a stranger to the house and finds himself in the safe hands of a community of ghosts in the town's graveyard. Adopted by these memorable residents, Bod (short for Nobody) grows up in the graveyard, learning about life and death, yet struggling to discover facts about his family and background. His adventures are exciting and scary, but, though it is implied, the violence is not directly shown. Bod's world is fantastical but recognisable too - he is just like any other child finding his way in the world. There is humour in the graveyard - inscriptions on the grave stones are amazing - and there is wisdom. Enhanced by Riddell's wonderful illustrations, Gaiman's language is often striking. Consider the description on page 95: 'In the twilight of the graveyard there was a silent implosion, a flutter of velvet darkness, and Silas was gone.' Silas is Bod's protector and teacher, a mentor, and one of the most memorable of players in this great adventure.
The Graveyard Book won the 2009 Newbery Award.
Julie Wells

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals 2017 longlist
CILIP Carnegie Medal longlist 2017
Branford Boase Award 2017 longlist
Children's Book Award 2017 shortlist
Infographic: Teen reading habits
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
Newbery and Caldecott Medals 2017
ALA awards 2017
Costa Children's Book Award 2016
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates