Book Review: The Graveyard Book

20 Oct


Sorry this book review is a week late but here it is for your enjoyment.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am planning to read several adventurous/scary children’s books through the month of October. I started with The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Let me start this review by saying that I would put Neil Gaiman into the category with Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar and Lewis Carroll.  These three men, have expanded the bounds of children’s literature. They don’t write about cute little bunnies that get lost and have to find there way back to their homes, rather they write about the abstract and even the grotesque. I will admit, Neil Gaiman’s work has had to grow on me or rather I grow into it.

The Graveyard Book began very violent and startling for a children’s book. I have to admit that I was shocked. Basically, the book opens with a family being murdered in their homes while they are sleeping. The sole survivor is a small young baby boy. The deceased mother makes the graveyard spirits to promise to protect this child from the man who was trying to kill her family. One of the most compassionate graveyard resisendients assures the deceased mother that she would care for the child. The majority of the story is about a boy who is raised by ghosts. The author does an extraordinary job of allowing the reader to explore life through the eyes a child and also the dead. I don’t want to give away the ending but it is worth reading.

Overall, Neil Gaiman is still growing on me. I find that some of his work makes me uncomfortable but I still feel it necessary to read things that make me uncomfortable. I appreciated his work The Graveyard Book. My personal opinion is that it is a bit too scary to read to small children especially the first scene. I think the book was well written and kept the reader involved in the development of the characters.


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