Synopsis from GoodReads.com:
“After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…”
This is a stand-alone middle-grade to young adult novel, but don’t let the age genre put you off because you cant go wrong with Neil Gaiman and in this book he certainly delivers. The only thing childish about this novel is that the story is written from the point of view of a child. The rest of the story is rather dark and strange. In a lot of ways it is another version of The Jungle Book but instead of animals in the jungle, it is ghosts in a graveyard who raise a young boy.
This book is magnificently written and uniquely illustrated. I haven’t seen an unillustrated version of this novel yet but I have seen different versions with different artists doing the illustrations. Gaiman presents the story in his usual easy to understand and quirky writing style so you yourself get a sense of what it is like to grow up in a graveyard and you can easily put yourself in the main character’s shoes.
The characters in this book are fascinating and lively, even though most of them are dead, and when I finished the book I found myself missing a few of them. Due to the characters being ghosts they are from a variety of different periods in history and how they speak is even written to reflect the speech patterns from their time period. There are nods to Celtic mythology and old christian beliefs, such as having a section with unconsecrated ground in the graveyard. Also the main character is called Nobody, which is a fantastic name, and he is a very believable and realistically written little boy.
The only problem I had with this book was that there was not enough of it. It left me with a couple of unanswered questions, which I suppose added an air of mystery to some things but at the same time I want answers. I want a companion to this book that tells me the backstories of all of the ghosts and the organisations mentioned in this novel. I need more!
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.com. (You can follow me on Goodreads by clicking here) I don’t care if you think you are too old to read this book you need to check this one out. I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially if you like The Jungle Book or ghost stories.
This will be the last time I share my “What should I read next?” poll so pick a book while you can and I shall review the winner.