The Graveyard Book: Another Gaiman Creepfest

12 Sep

I’m completely jazzed to have our second student review of the year ready to roll! This one—written by Ryan M and tackling a Gaiman book that I haven’t read yet—is a good one.

Remember, I want to see a TON of reviews this year, so consider writing your first bit for I’m Always Right right now!

Mr. F

____________________________________

If you’ve ever read a Neil Gaiman book, you know how creepy he can be.

You may have read Coraline, or American Gods, but The Graveyard Book
is definitely the best one yet. It won a Newberry Medal, a Hugo Award, a Locus Award, and a Carnegie Medal. I began this book right after I finished a fantastic book, Coraline, which I mentioned earlier.

This book takes place in the late 1800’s before any developed technology like televisions or computers were invented. The cars are the old and slow cars that you never see today. Many of the ghost characters in this book still speak in Old English accents because they died two centuries earlier.

The Graveyard Book was written in 2008, and is based mostly off of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

If you’ve ever read the book, it’s about a group of wolves who find a newborn human and raise it as their own. This child, Mowgli’s, parents have disappeared. In The Graveyard Book, though, a boy parents are murdered right in front of him, and the ghosts of the graveyard find him.

He is raised as a “boy” named Nobody Owens, who goes by Bod.

He then travels away from the graveyard for the first time. People recognize him as the victim’s son, which triggers his curiosity. He then finds a snake they call The Seer, and it tells him to find the man Jack who killed his parents.

I don’t want to ruin the entire the book, though so you have to read it to find out the rest of the story. I thought this was a sort of eerie, fun book to read. I absolutely recommend this book to any fantasy lover.

If you’ve read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, this is a must-read.

 

My Rating for The Graveyard Book: Way85

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8 Responses to “The Graveyard Book: Another Gaiman Creepfest”

  1. KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) September 13, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Thanks for the great review! I absolutely loved this book when it came out, although the opening is a bit creepy. I keep it in my classroom and recommend it for certain students who I think would enjoy creative writing (Gaiman is a favorite) and spooky storytelling. This book is a classic in my mind. Thanks for reminding me of how powerful the take of Bod is.
    Mr. Hodgson
    Sixth Grade Teacher
    Southampton, MA

    • wferriter September 13, 2011 at 11:30 am #

      Mr. Hodgson,

      Thank you so much for the great comment on my review! I’ m so glad that you and your students enjoyed The Graveyard Book. You mentioned that your one of your students’ favorite authors is Neil Gaiman. Some of my favorites are from Neil Gaiman as well. What is your students’ favorite book by him? Mine used to be Coraline, but after I read this book, but after I read this book, that definitely changed. By the way, have you ever read Coraline? Basically, it’s about a girl named Coraline (Which everyone confuses for Caroline) whose parents both work full-time. She is forced to move into a rickety old apartment in what she thinks is the middle of nowhere. Later in the book, she finds out it is the passageway to a dimension owned by an evil witch who tries to capture children. If you haven’t read Coraline yet, you definitely should.

      Well, thanks once again for the comment and I hope to write a new review soon.

      Ryan M.

  2. kishancblog September 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    another book added to my read list

    • Ryan M. September 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

      Kishan,

      If you like a type of book that isn’t too long and boring, and has the perfect amount of everything, this book is for you.

      In the beginning, it is kind of like a prologue. It tells all of the facts and happenings that led up to the current setting and characters.

      If you like this book (which is a fantasy book, by the way), then I recommend one very good book by the same author, Neil Gaiman. Coraline is a fantastic book, about a girl who is lured into another world where her “parents” care for her more than in regular life.

      Once again, here would be that Neil Gaiman twist. Coraline finds that the “other mother” is actually a, well I don’t want to give it away. If I were you, I’d just read it. Honestly. Do it.

      • wferriter September 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

        Ryan wrote:
        If you like this book (which is a fantasy book, by the way), then I recommend one very good book by the same author, Neil Gaiman. Coraline is a fantastic book, about a girl who is lured into another world where her “parents” care for her more than in regular life

        Here’s an interesting question for you Ryan: Did you read the graphic novel version of Coraline?

        And if you did, what did you think of it?

        I’m not a big fan of graphic novels at all—and would love to hear what you think of them. Do they add to a story? Take away from the story? Make the reading easier? Harder? More enjoyable? Less enjoyable?

        Really want to hear what you think…
        Mr. F

      • Ryan M. September 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

        Mr. Ferriter,

        I’ve never actually read the graphic novel version of Coraline, but I might soon. Usually, graphic novels aren’t very interesting or fun to read to me. It’s easier for me to read the actual book than the graphic novel.

        Some graphic novels, however, I do enjoy. About four months ago, I read a graphic novel called “The Kingdom of Hearts”. This one was funny and also fun to read.

        I think that if I read the graphic novel version of Coraline, then it would kind of ruin my perspective on the book itself. You know what I mean?

        Ryan

  3. Carly B September 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    I am in the process of reading The Graveyard Book right now and I am already hooked I did not read the review incase it gave anything away about the book.

    When I found out that they were naming the baby Nobody Owens I was shocked I knew that the name might not have been a very common name since he has to stay hidden but Nobody as a name i never saw coming.

    I love the first sentence in the book it is part of the reason I picked up the book in the first place. It is: “In the darkness there was a hand and it held a knife”. Now I am not sure if that was word for word there but I was close enough to get my point across. Talk about suspense!

    The other part I enjoy is trying to figure out the characters personalities. There is the stranger whose name I still have not figured out his personality seems interesting. I like how caring Mistress Owens was to take in Nobody to be her child.

    One character in particular has me wondering though. That character is the man Jack. I wonder for one thing why he set out to kill Nobody’s family, and why he spent months planning to kill them. Does he know them and want revenge? I am wondering about him a lot as I read.

    • Ryan M. September 23, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

      Carly said, “I love the first sentence in the book it is part of the reason I picked up the book in the first place. It is: ‘In the darkness there was a hand and it held a knife’. Now I am not sure if that was word for word there but I was close enough to get my point across. Talk about suspense!”

      I very much agree with this statement in two ways. One, this beginning did cause me to keep reading what turned out to be a great book. I think Gaiman went into it strongly and kept the reader’s interest. Some authors make the beginning of stories bland and boring, and Gaiman definitely didn’t go that direction. That is one of the great aspects of his writing.

      I also agree with this statement for another reason. Every time I see if I would like to read a book or not the first thing I do is I read the first few pages. If it seems like it’s boring or to short I just put the book down.

      Here, “The Graveyard Book” jumps straight into the plot. It is an exciting way to fire up a conflict. This passage of the book has all the details you need for an exposition, but doesn’t take too long.

      The final greatest thing about this beginning is that it doesn’t ruin anything or jump straight into the rising action. This beginning actually reminds me kind of a prologue. It shows all of the things that had happened to create these settings and characters.

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