Ann's Reviews > The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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Mar 16, 09

bookshelves: children-young-adult
Read in March, 2009

This is a book of rare imagination - and, surprisingly (given the title and the idea of the plot), of humor and delicate beauty. I struggled, however, between giving it four or five stars, because it's also a thriller-adventure, and I just didn't find those aspects as amazing.

Without giving anything away: In the opening paragraphs, with almost no blood or violence, a baby's family is killed but the baby toddles away into the town's deserted graveyard, whose long-dead inhabitants take him into their care and keeping. And there he grows up, the only living inhabitant. The Graveyard Book is a funny, tender coming-of-age adventure book, seamlessly and wonderfully crossing the boundaries of life, death, and things not either.

But the killer is still out there, and I found that part of the book disappointing. Perhaps because the other parts were so original and this part turned out to be too reminiscent of other well-known books; perhaps because the thriller parts just didn't seem to fit as well as they do in, say, the Dark Materials books; perhaps because I saw the climactic surprises coming from way far away (OK, maybe young readers wouldn't).

But I heartily endorse the Newbery award that The Graveyard Book won, and you should by all means read it.
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