After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family . . .
I have to preface this review by saying that I adore Neil Gaiman’s writing. I’ve been a fan of his since a high school friend shoved a copy of Death: The High Cost of Living into my hands and I haven’t found cause to regret it yet. So, if I get a little fangirly and start flailing or using really high pitched noises, you know why.
OMG! This book was fabulous and fantastic and imaginative and a little bloody and practically perfect in every way! Seriously. The idea of a boy who escapes a horrible death only to find a life among the dead makes my brain go into spasms of delight. Bod has a limited understanding of the world since those he associates with are removed from it, but he’s quick and clever and he wants to learn. The graveyard ghosts do what they can to protect him and to educate him and he grows up to be brave and curious.
Bod’s story is beautiful and strange. He learns his letters off the tombstones. His guardian is a dark man who straddles the world of the living and the dead. He is beloved of the ghosts and he is bound to the graveyard because to leave it might lead his family’s killer back to him. But he’s a boy and in order to blend in with the outside world – as he will have to do some day – he needs to go out into it.
For those who are willing to step into the odd world of an orphan boy raised by ghosts, this book will captivate you. It’s dark and lovely and well worth the read.