What would you do, if your parents were murdered? What if you were the only child and had no one else to care for you? What if you were only 1 year old?
What if you found yourself in a graveyard and it was there that people, or more accurately, ghosts, opened their hearts and mausoleums to you?
That is exactly how Bod’s story begins in “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. Bod’s real name is, well, we don’t really know. He has been Bod Owens, short for Nobody, for as long as he can remember. He is taken care of by the ghosts of the cemetery. He is adopted by a very nice, elderly couple. He is also watched over by Silas who, for undisclosed reasons, has the ability to leave the graveyard and is able to find food and provisions for Bod. He is also Bod’s teacher and instructs him in academics. In addition, he instructs in fading, disappearing and other abilities that come in handy when you live in a graveyard.
Bod has many adventures as he explores his new home. He meets interesting characters, both living and dead. But the real adventure begins when he decides to leave the graveyard, which is his home and also a safe haven from the people who murdered his parents and may still be searching for him.
This novel was fun to read. A unique setting and character sets it apart from other books. Bod was a very relatable character as a curious and lonely boy, left to fill his own time in the graveyard. He makes mistakes that most young boys would fall prey to in such a mysterious place. His coming-of-age story is entertaining and satisfying. My only problem with it was that there were so many other characters I wanted to learn more about. His parents, both living (then dead) and ghost, for example. And what about the witch? What is her story? The Jack of All Trades group probably has an interesting origination. Most of all, I would like to learn more about Silas, Bod’s teacher and protector. Who is he? Where did he come from? Why is he different?
Although I was left with a lot of questions regarding other aspects of the book, the story of Bod I felt was sufficient. This is a sweet coming of age story with adventure, mistakes and growth, and a sweet little love story.