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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Newbery Award Goes to my favorite Author!

First, I have to say a big thank you to Rob for pointing this out to me. As you may have guessed, Neil Gaiman is my favorite author. He had me hooked at Sandman and Stardust, American Gods I have read multiple times, so when I heard he was doing a children's book called The Graveyard Book, needless to say, I was excited.

This book is creepy on an epic scale. Within the first three pages almost an entire family gets killed, all but the baby. Did I mention this is a kid's book? The baby gets out of his crib and toddles his way to a nearby cemetery while the Man Jack is killing the rest of the family. The baby boy is eventually taken in by a nice ghost family and given the name Nobody. They care for him the best they can, in fact, the whole graveyard pitches in on raising the child. He has two tutors of note while he lives in the graveyard, Silas and Miss Lupescu, both of which are more than they seem.

Nobody, Bod for short, has more adventures than cats have lives, from befriending Scarlett to meeting the Sleer to finding a gravestone for the witch Liza Hempstock. Bod must use all of his wits and knowhow to outwit the group Jack of All Trades. They sent the Man Jack (also known as Jack Frost) to kill Bod when he was a baby so that a prophecy will never come to pass.

All in all, it is a creepy and wonderful book. While I wouldn't give it to my five year old niece, I would give it to the older ones. It's also a great read for the young at heart; you find yourself cheering on Bod throughout his adventures. Plus, it's a Newbery Award winning book, what more could you ask for? You want art? Dave McKean does all of the interior art. When I heard that, I was super excited (he's the man that did all of the Sandman covers as well as Wolves in the Walls). The art is not classic Dave McKean though, and for that I was disappointed. It's all pencil drawings and, in my opinion, not as wonderful had they been his cut and paste style. Upon reflection, it does work for this book, the drawings lend an air of ghostliness to the story. So if you like a well written story that has some fun twists and turns, go out and pick up this book.

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