The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

4.5 Stars   

The story begins with the dreadful murder of a family.  A young toddler is the only survivor that fateful night.  The little boy manages to escape when he decided to go exploring.  His exploration leads him outside to a nearby graveyard.  The innocent young toddler does not know he is being pursued by an assassin. 

 His recently departed mother knows her son is still in danger. She frantically appears in the graveyard and pleads to the spirits and ghosts buried there to take her son in, shelter him, and protect him from harm.

That is exactly what they do.

This begins the story of Nobody Owens.  Though the beginning of The Graveyard Book is bleak, this coming of age story is fascinating and will keep you in suspense.

Nobody, called Bod, lives in the graveyard.  His family is a host of ghosts and spirits.  Along the way, Bod frequently finds himself in danger; at times, from graveyard spirits less than kind to the living. 

He also continues to be hunted by the man who destroyed his family. As Bod gets older, he yearns for the outside world. He outgrows the younger spirits who used to play with him, and Bod wants to experience life on his own. In order to have a life in the world beyond the graveyard gates, Bod finds himself in a position of fighting for his life once more.

Can he defeat the evil man who wants him dead?  Will Bod be able to leave the only family he knows and loves behind?

This story is magical and unlike any that I have ever read before. Nail Gaiman creates a fascinating setting, interesting characters with a variety of stories to tell, and manages to weave humor, fear, and emotion into each page he has written.

Highly recommended