The Graveyard Book
By Neil Gaiman
Nobody Owens lives in the cemetery. He plays with his neighbors, attends classes, and lives just as any other boy — except that he is being raised by ghosts.
Nobody, known affectionately as Bod, came to the cemetery the night his parents and sister were murdered. The only member of his family to escape death that evening, he was saved because of his precocious behavior and penchant for climbing out of his crib. He made his way to the cemetery and, fortunately, the residents were willing to take him in. Mr. and Mrs. Owens offer to raise him as their own and his guardian, Silas, takes on the task of maintaining his safety. Over the years, Bod does his best to test boundaries, as any child will do, with the exception that all his experiences take place in the world of the dead so small scrapes end up being life and death decisions.
As Bod grows, he learns about life outside of the cemetery gates and wishes to become part of the living world once again. Silas agrees and lets him attend school but it doesn’t work out as well as Bod would have liked. He blends in, almost to the point of becoming invisible, which suits Silas, but not Bod. After an incident lands him in trouble, Bod agrees to come back to the safety of the graveyard but he is becoming even more curious about the people who are trying to harm him. Unknown to Bod, Silas is doing his best to make sure he will be able to live a safe, happy life once he leaves the cemetery.
Gaiman creates a fantastic world inside the gates of the cemetery. Bod’s experiences are extraordinary and make you want to explore your local cemetery. Bod’s lessons and the little excursions he takes, in and out of the graves, are wonderful and full of curiosity.
I’ve read a few Gaiman books and always marvel at the way he creates worlds within worlds that you want to explore. You’ll appreciate the depths with which he creates his world in this book.