The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
Since november of 2016 I joined a Book Club in my city, it has been so fun! I’ve made a lot of friends and I’m also reading a lot and I’ve been able to chat with my friends about the books that I love and the ones I don’t.
This month of July, the book we voted to read is called The Graveyard Book by author Neil Gaiman. This book was one of the first ones I’ve ever read..
*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
This small beautiful book tells the story of a small baby that, while his family was being murdered, managed to escape his house and ultimately being killed. Crawling he managed to go up the hill to an antient graveyard where the resident ghosts decided to adopt and protect him from any harm that may come his way in the course of his childhood. But since none of the ghosts are able to go out the graveyard to find food for him a new character appears called Silas, who decides to become the baby’s guardian while Mr and Mrs Owens become his foster parents.
After a lots of options, they decide to name the child Nobody Owens, because he looks like nobody else in the graveyard. He, is also given the protection of the graveyard which allows him special powers while he’s inside it (Which is very cool! because he can walk through walls and touch ghosts among other things)
In the course of his life, Bod (short for Nobody) manages to make a human friend who thinks he’s an imaginary boy (due to her mother telling her so…), he leans new things from Silas and when he feels he no longer has things to teach him he appoints a new teacher called Miss Lupescu who helps him learn more and more about the mystical world he lives in. Eventually, he asks to be sent to a regular school with regular kids and he’s allowed to go but with the condition that he, using his learned abilities, manages to make himself invisible.
He mostly achieves being invisible until he witnessed an act of injustice toward another kid and saves him, making him visible to the bullies as well as for the kid he saved… the attention from everybody puts him in a lot of trouble and in the end he (learning his lesson) decides to return to the graveyard and learn what he can from there.
Throughout the story we learn that the man Jack (Bod’s family killer… haha the one that killed his family) continues to search for the boy, but we don’t know why. Also that Silas travels to unknown places as well as Miss Lupescu.
In one of their abcenses, and having learned about ghouls he tries to befriend a group of them and they show him to the entrance of their world. Once inside the ghouls start the process of thransforming Bod into one of them, something Bod doesn’t want and by using (again) the knowledge he got from Miss Lupescu about mystical creatures he manages to call for help making Miss Lupescu herself (turned into a wolf/dog?) to come help her get out of there.
Years later, when Bod’s a teenager he befriends a witch ghost that becomes very attached and helpful to him (even though she says she’s not) and helps him out of a tricky situation with some guys that want’s to take advantage of his inocence (because he’s kind of slow on the People Relation department) after this, he also reunites with his childhood friend (the one that thought he was imaginary) Scarlett and finds out she’s living again in the same town.
They quickly become friends again, and she visits him often. And in those visits she becomes friend with a (living) man named Mr. Frost who works in the graveyard, who also becomes friends with her mom...
Now that Scarlet knows that Bod is real she starts helping him with finding out his identity and who was the one that wanted to kill him and why. And in the end it turns out that Mr Frost was acctually the Man Jack… and that along with other Jacks of all Trades were searching for Bod to kill him to avoid him to fulfil a prophecy of them.
Sadly for the Man Jacks, Bod turns out to be smart and resourceful and tricks the Jacks into traps until the last one of them stands, then is absorbed by a misterious entity that lives in the graveyard, and by this fulfilling the prophecy that said that a kid (Bod) was going to bring down the Order of the Jacks of All Trades...
Bud later finds out that Silas absences were because he was actually hunting the Jacks to extintion along with Miss Lupescu and other members of the Honour Guard.
After all that, Scarlet’s memory is erased and sent to another city, and Bud, older, starts to loose his Graveyard Protection… so he says goodbye to all his friends and family, to Silas, and goes to live in the outside world with the living…
Opinion: This is probably one of my favorite stories… I have read this book twice, and the two times I’ve cried at the end… Not because is sad, but because is so touching! Bod’s a great kid!! Silas is misteriously amazing!
I love how this story is fully charged with mystical and supernatural entities but Neil Gaiman doesn’t feel the need to say things like vampires or warewolves… they just are, and that’s how things are.
One of the times I “read” the book, I actually listened to the Audiobook and just recently found out that the amazing voice actor is none other than the author himself! Neil Gaiman! The Graveyard Book audiobook by NGaiman is an experience that I believe every children should experience (English speakers, obviously)… The way he describes Bod’s world and situations is so graphic and simle and complete… that you feel like you’re there automatically from minute one of the narration.
I highly recomend this book, and consider it one of my favorites! <3