The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman is a fascinating author, and his 2008 novel The Graveyard Book is no exception. A modern, Gothic retelling of Kipling’s The Jungle Book (1894), the story centres around orphan Nobody Owens who, after his family is brutally murdered by “the man Jack”, is raised by ghosts in the local graveyard.
“Bod” is adopted by a family of ghosts, has a very peculiar and fairly scary (though strangely attractive) guardian, and befriends a witch – but the land of the living is something of a mystery for him. He is safe as long as he stays in the graveyard, but outside lurks danger – the man Jack is still out there, and his work is not yet done.
Enthralling, exciting and funny, The Graveyard Book is another example of Gaiman’s wonderful literature for children. Again, he reminds us that children’s books don’t need to be “safe” and “wholesome” – there can be real danger and the children might be able to handle it anyway…
I recommend this book to adults as well though – it’s an easy but thoroughly enjoyable read.