Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Graveyard Book

Novel, Neil Gaiman

Readers 9 to adult

Some people say children shouldn't read scary books. I think that's rubbish. As a child I loved dark fairytales, with stories of giant killers, dragons, evil stepmothers, murders, the list goes on. Of course, it depends on the child. For some children, these stories may be frightening, but for those who are not, these are wonderful adventures. For me as a child, stories like this never scared me, but things set in the 'real world' where horrible things happened did.

The Graveyard Book, is, in my opinion, a book that can be enjoyed by almost all ages. I would not recommend it for very young children, as it may be too scary for them, it is really up to the parent to judge. I have been told it is best for 9 and 10 year olds up. But it is definitely a book that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. It was simply and beautifully written, and very evocative. Not that I would expect any less from Neil Gaiman.

The Graveyard Book tells the story of Nobody (Bod for short), a boy who is brought up in a graveyard by ghosts and other mysterious creatures after the murder of his entire family. Outside the graveyard, danger still lurks in the form of the man who still seeks to kill him. The story follows Bod as he grows older, and experiences adventures and danger in and outside of the graveyard.

Most of the characters in this book are dead people, and they are very likeable and feel like real people you could really like. My favourite character was Miss Lupescu, but I won't give away too much as she comes in later.

In this day and age, where the supernatural is currently such a popular topic, it is refereshing to see a story like this that follows no formulas and takes its own storytelling path. I have always loved tales of the supernatural and magic, but I get frustrated that so many of the stories these days follow formulas, and I really enjoy something different, like this.

I highly recommend this book!

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