Thursday, 26 August 2010

Read this and thank me later!

So look it's coming up to the end of the children's Summer Holiday (Yay if I'm being honest) but we've still got this last haul to make before our kids are safely tucked back in school and we can really start to rest again. But what to do until then? (drugging them being not an option here). So I have the solution for you if your kid is over nine years old. If not, hmmm I dunno, go to the park again I guess besides we're not talking about your child today. Sorry!

Now before I go into telling you briefly what the book is about I would also like to tell you that Neil Gaiman is the same author of Coraline and Stardust among others but these are my favorites. Also after reading any book I usually google the author to see a photo and this author is delicious so if you're not interested in the book just check the dude's photo. Something for mum and something for kiddo you see? Yummy!

Where was I? oh yes. The Book. It's called THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman and it is by far one of the best children's books I have read in a while. Being a 'good' mum I thought I would read it first before handing it over to my son. The illustration (marvellous yet ominous and creepy) were a clue. I was hooked from the first sentence. That first chapter has to be one of the scariest ever and once I'd finished it (the chapter) I knew my kid would love it. The great thing about its scariness that although the chapter starts with describing a murder scene the word 'blood' is not mentioned once yet you can imagine (even smell it?) just by telling us about that big wet knife.

The story is about "that man Jack" who murders a family (mum, dad, and sister). The toddler by some stroke of luck manages to escape because being a rather naughty and inquisitive boy had gotten out of his cot and ended up in the street. Mistaking the sound of bodies falling for mum and dad moving about the house he slithers out slowly through the door left open (unknowling by him - he's only two) by the murderer.

Anyway, he ends  up in a graveyard where is adopted by two ghosts and given a new name 'Nobody Owens' (Bod) and is appointed a guardian called Silas who only appears when the sun sets never during sunlight hours (there's a clue here). The man Jack does follow the toddler to the graveyard but by more lucky events he is turned away to look elsewhere and for now the boy is spared his own death.

Every chapter you move through, Nobody grows up two years so by the time the story ends he is a teenager ready to face the living world. But until then he has to live within the world of the dead and learn their ways. He makes friends there and declares that he is never afraid of dying (even when faced with its true possibility) as most of his best friends are dead anyway.

This story although a mere 300 pages is packed with adventure. From werewolves to ghouls and vampires. Witches, ghosts dead for thousands of years and a Sleer and the somehow lovely yet daunting Lady of the Grey, it leaves no tomb unturned.

My best parts were Nobody befriending a real human Scarlette who becomes his friend yet towards the end is the most to cause him pain. This is a very touching novel, for adults and children alike, and will remain with me for a long long time. I don't think I'll ever look at a graveyard the same way ever again!

Stars: * * * * *
For more on this book, click HERE


arnie said...

"Gotten?" Are we turning in to the Greenwich, Conneticut Gazette?