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Gaiman, Neil. 
New York : HarperCollins, 2008
IL 5-8, RL 5-8
ISBN 0060530936

(5 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

It is late at night in Victorian London. Upstairs, in a lovely town house, a wee toddler is awakened by noises in his house, and being a curious child, decides to investigate. Being an inquisitive child he has already worked out how to climb out of his crib, and is soon crawling along the floor. He comes upon the stairs and is delighted to see that he is at the top, and begins bumping his bottom down the carpeted stairwell, leaving his diaper along the way. Once down, he discovers the back door is open and heads on out to explore the wonderful night. Meanwhile something dark and sinister has been going on in this house. An assassin has murdered the family and gone upstairs to finish his work. He is soon on the trail of our innocent hero, but he does not find him, because ... this house is across the street from an old cemetery and our curious toddler has wandered in. This cemetery is full of kindly spirits who have been watching the night's activities with some concern and quickly decide to first hide the little child, and then as time goes by, to raise him. Leave it to Neil Gaiman (of Coraline fame) to combine such horror with a sense of mirth and get away with it. As the story progresses we learn that our hidden hero, now an adolescent, was actually the target of the assassin, a member of an ancient order; and, the members of this order still want to finish him off, if they could just find him. They have just recently uncovered a clue to his whereabouts. Can the cemetery spirits and this bright boy outwit these malicious men? And, why are they after him? Read The Graveyard Book, a delightfully gruesome, and very English tale, complete with whimsical illustrations by the author.  (New Hampshire Isinglass nominee, 2010)

Booktalk #2

When Bod’s family is killed, he takes refuge in the graveyard. The deceased residents who live there adopt him and teach him all the things that dead people know. For Bod, safety is inside the graveyard, outside is danger. But Bod is a curious boy and he’s growing up. Can he learn all the skills he will need to live beyond the fence?  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2009-2010)

Booktalk #3

Ever wish you could walk through walls and poof!! just vanish into mid air? Well, Nobody Owens a.k.a Bod sure can! After being taken in by ghosts as a baby Bod has many adventures in the graveyard that he calls home. Because Bod is granted special powers he is able to see and talk to all the ghosts of the graveyards which later becomes a very useful ability when Bod finds himself in some serious trouble trying to get some long awaited answers to his past.
So if you think you are ready for an adventure filled with suspense and a spooky twist, then check out a modern fantasy book by Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book, HarperCollins 2008.  (Brittny Currie,, college student)

Booktalk #4

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.” 

So begins the story of Nobody Owens, known as Bod.  On the night his parents are brutally murdered, 2 year old Bod calmly climbs out of his crib and toddles out of the house and into a nearby cemetery.  There he is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Owens (childless and dead for 250 years!)  who gladly care for the child and protect him from harm.

With loving ghostly parents, teachers, friends, and protectors, Bod grows from age two to fifteen in the graveyard.  He learns to read and do numbers, and he also learns some ghostly skills.  But not all the residents of the graveyard are friendly.  There are witches, ghouls and creatures and let’s not forget Jack – the fiend who is out to finish the job he started.

Filled with great illustrations, this is a funny, exciting and suspenseful story.  How will Bod survive?  Or will he?  Can his loving family and friends really protect him from the evil Jack?  Read the Newbery Award winning book, The Graveyard Book and find out!
(by Diane Ferbrache, Hazen High School Librarian for The Washington Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, 2011)

Booktalk #5

Late at night, a toddler wakes and discovering the back door is open heads out into the night. The door had been opened by an assassin who had murdered the adults and is on his way to kill the child. But our unlikely hero has entered the graveyard across from his home and ended up in the care of the friendly ghosts who reside there.  It turns out that the child is the focus of an ancient order that wants him dead. If you like adventure, horror mixed with humor this book is for you.  (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2011-2012)

SUBJECTS:     Dead -- Fiction.
                        Supernatural -- Fiction.
                        Cemeteries -- Fiction.

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