Were you ever scared of graveyards? Or were you curious about them? Did you ever want to go into an old graveyard and know more about the people buried there? Whether you want to explore graveyards or are terrified of them (like me), this coming-of-age book will take you on an adventure within the walls of the graveyard, located somewhere in England. It was written by Neil Gaiman in 2008 and is really one of the best coming-of-age novels I’ve ever read. To check out more works by Neil Gaiman, see this.
The Graveyard Book starts as an infant’s family is brutally murdered, and he is adopted by the ghosts of Mr. & Mrs. Owens, who lived centuries ago. He is christened Nobody “Bod” Owens by the people of the Graveyard. The book then continues to show different life events of Bod and the “alive” people he meets over the course of his time at the graveyard, along with the “dead” people of the graveyard. Bod is obviously not ordinary, he can see the people in the graveyard and he can walk through walls and he is not allowed to step outside the graveyard as the man who killed his family is still out there. The series of events that follows when Bod sometimes leaves the graveyard, and even makes friends with a human girl when he was five, the big showdown comes when he is of age. All of the characters, all of the adventures, and all of the secrets that Bod learned over the years living in the graveyard help him defeat the man who is called “Jack” - the killer.
I loved the progression of relationships that Bod has with ghosts and humans alike. With a series of events following Bod, this book is humorous, heartwarming, and witty. I think everyone should read this book, despite your age/reading preferences, it is just that good. On top of that, the book has a lot of good fast-paced speeches and thinking about identity, and belonging that I’m sure a lot of us can relate to.
You can buy the book here, and support local bookstores in doing so!