Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Newbery Award Winner for 2009
"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately. The knife had done almost everything it was brough to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet." (1-3)

That first sentence is accompanied with a two page spread of darkness surrounding an outstretched hand and knife, which eerily and beautifully sets the tone of discovery and danger for the rest of the book. Neil Gaiman, in his Newbery Award winning book The Graveyard Book, opens with the parents and older sister of a small toddler being murdered by the mysterious Jack. The toddler, who comes to be called Nobody Owens, escapes into the nearby graveyard, where the ghosts agree to care for him. He's given the Freedom of the Graveyard, which allows him some of the powers that the ghosts have, including fading and generating fear. The silent Silas, belonging neither to the world of the dead or the living, agrees to become his guardian. But not even Silas can guarantee Bod's safety when he grows older and begins to leave the graveyard with increasing frequency. Because no one knows when Jack will be coming back to finish the murders he started.


No comments: