Meet Nobody Owens. He hasn’t had a haircut in well, ever, his usual uniform is a gray winding sheet, and his best friends are a vampire named Silas and a long-dead girl named Liza. That’s because Nobody (or Bod for short) has been raised in graveyard with ghosts (Mr. and Mrs. Owens, to be specific) for parents and tombstones for playthings. When Bod was a toddler, an assassin known only as Jack crept into his house and murdered his entire family. While the monster was at his diabolical work, Bod quietly wandered out of his room and into the nearby graveyard. He was discovered by the Owenses, who decided to raise him themselves with the help of Silas, who could move about in human society and and secure food for the child. As Bod grows, he learns many useful things from his adopted family, like how to Fade, Dreamwalk, and make Fear, all the while knowing that the man who killed his family is still out there—and eventually he will have to face him. While the creepy quotient is not quite as high as Gaiman’s insta-classic Coraline, The Graveyard Book has a certain Burton-esque Nightmare Before Christmas quality that gives it an all-ages appeal. Both frightening and funny (and sometimes frighteningly funny) this latest supernatural goody from Master of Magic Gaiman is hopefully haunting a library or bookstore near you.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by Dave McKean