Review – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The bestselling children novel by the English author Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book was launched first in 2008 and then translated into many languages. It received the 2009 Newbery Medal and is loved by kids as well as adults. Gaiman has written many books for adults but is renowned for this book and Coraline. He mostly writes comics, graphic novels, fantasy and science fiction. The Graveyard Book is a story of an orphan named Nobody ‘Bod’ Owens who was raised by ghosts and dead people in a graveyard. Gaiman admits that he got inspired for this book from The Jungle Book, the story of a boy raised by animals in a jungle.

The Graveyard Book Introduction

The Graveyard Book is inspired by a number of other stories and novels. It expresses love for reading and books and inspires the readers for the same. It can also encourage readers to have a love for graveyards. Many readers had begun looking around stations to find disguised platforms after reading Harry Potter. Similarly, The Graveyard Book convinces readers that graveyards have friendly ghosts and all the graveyards have ghoul gates. This type of fantasy books helps us look at the world in a new way. Such books make us wonder if a magical world really exists.

The Graveyard Book Review

The novel begins with a multiple murder like many other children’s books these days. An unknown character enters into the home and murders the father, mother and elder sister. However, the murderer finds that the 2-year old boy was missing, having escaped somewhere in the night. With extraordinary skills, the murderer follows the scent of the boy and reaches a graveyard located nearby. Something strange happens then. The dead people hide the boy from the man, get the man out of the graveyard and erase his memory. The little boy was adopted by ghosts Mr and Mrs Owens and the Silas appoint himself his guardian.

Mrs Owens names the boy ‘Nobody’ and calls him ‘Bod’ in short. The entire 300 pages story is spent on the scary place and Bod grows two years older in each new chapter, from infant to a teen through numerous adventures. Right from the beginning, Bod gets the freedom to learn ghost tricks like disappearing from sight even when somebody is looking at him. To ensure his safety, he is not permitted to leave the place but he has so much to explore including ghosts and ghoulgate. Bod also makes a human friend who thinks he is imaginary and moves away, breaking the heart of the young boy. As time passes, Bod wishes for human company and convinces Silas to let him attend a school. Once, he uses his superpowers and ends up with unexpected consequences. The girl comes back in his life but there is somebody else too.

There are chapters in the book that make standalone short stories themselves. They can be read at bedtime to be delighted by the narratives that express Gaiman’s imagination. The Chris Riddell edition also contains full page illustrations with each chapter to give a hint about what one can expect. Each page has a lot of invention, scary, dangerous and funny. The writer creates such creepy villains that one would enjoy reading about them. Ghouls take the name of the person they ate first. Apart from this, there are chapters focusing on what it is like growing on the outside. The end of the story is really exciting and has a twist that readers cannot expect. The writing style is easy for kids to understand though distinctive and descriptive. A children’s book filled with murder tales, The Graveyard Book is about getting into it and enjoying it then forget and live the life. Just like Coraline, this book is sure to surprise and enchant young readers as well as adult fans of Neil Gaiman.