I can’t believe this is my first Neil Gaiman experience. I hope to tackle “American Gods” later in the year as part of my TBR Pile Challenge, but for now, I read one of his children’s novels. It’s a wonderful bit of storytelling, right at home with the likes of J.K. Rowling. Nobody Owens, also known as “Bod,” has been raised by ghosts in a graveyard because his family was murdered when he was just three years old. His life is confined to the graveyard, but he is comfortable among the ghosts, whom he can see. They raise him and protect him, because the man Jack who murdered his family has been looking for him.
The world of the dead is usually scary, but the spirits inhabiting Gaiman’s graveyard are (mostly) kind and nurturing to Bod. However, as he grows older, it becomes apparent that he can’t live forever in just the confines of the graveyard. So he must venture into the world and with this, comes the risk of meeting up with the mysterious Jack.
So many memorable moments throughout the book – the Fleer and its whispers, when Bod goes to meet the witch, Bod’s human friend, etc.
As a children’s book, I’d say a reader as young as fourth grade could probably read and comprehend this on their own. Any kid who can handle Harry Potter can definitely handle this. It’s only 300 pages and there are illustrations sprinkled in the beginnings of chapters.
Gaiman won a Newbury Medal for this book, and I am excited to explore more of this distinguished author’s work.