Published: September 8 2008
Number of pages: 307
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: dark fantasy, mystery, paranormal, coming-of-age
Audience: children and adults of all ages
Rating: 5/5 owl hoots
Nobody Owens (Bod) could have been a normal boy if he didn’t live in a graveyard and was raised and educated by ghosts, with a guardian who is neither the living nor the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard as Bod discovers new things such as the Indigo Man beneath the hill, and a gateway that leads to the land of the ghouls. But if Bod leaves the graveyard then he might be under attacked by a man name Jack who murdered his family.
I loved this book so much that it’s become one of my favorite Gaiman books! The only problem about writing this review is that I can’t think of any other wonderful words to say then this is the most brilliant childhood story I read. Sorry if my review becomes short as I run out of words to say on how incredible this book is.
Thanks to Gaiman, I have become a fan of macabre in children’s literature. Gaiman is an amazing storyteller and I love how he writes a childhood story and twists it into something dark and grisly. A boy named Nobody Owens (Bod for short) who was raised in a graveyard by the dead with a guardian to mentor him and can slip away between the borders of the dead and the living. Like any child growing up, Bod is eager to escape the graveyard that has kept him safe, and into the world where he can explore and meet living people. This is more then just a dark fantasy story, it’s a coming-of-age as we see Bod growing up from a stubborn, naïve little boy to a clever and bold young man. As the story develops, we see Bod’s character developing too as he learns more about the secrets of the graveyard, the mystery behind his murdered family, and the dangerous Jack of All Trades.
Many characters are introduced and some of them make a brief appearance in the beginning, but they re appear again as Bod grows up and the plot takes a different turn of events as we get closer to the mystery behind Bod’s past. When these characters return, they end up playing a much bigger role as the plot escalates towards the end with intense fight scenes between the living and the dead. Bod remembers everything that he learned about the graveyard as a child, and uses that to his advantage. I loved how Gaiman ties the character’s stories together so there aren’t any loose ends; everything just falls into place at the ending.
As the plot develops, Bod learns valuable lessons from the dead on what it is to be alive. In the end, the story opens up with a new hopeful chapter in Bod’s future. To an adult’s POV, many of the concepts might seem oversimplified but keep in mind that this is a story intended for children. Children can learn a lot as they are taught lessons about death and living and how we should live our life not just by existing. I think this is an important lesson for everyone to learn, which is why I am recommending this book for anyone.
I loved reading every moment of Bod’s life and watching him growing up in the graveyard. This is a really sweet and imaginative story and its not too scary or too dark for children to read so they can still enjoy it as much as adults. Sorry again if my review falls short as I struggle to find words on how good this book is, except that you have to read it because it is so brilliant!