Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Book 10 - The Graveyard Book

January 22 ~ Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book won the Newberry Medal. Wow, what an honor! It was selected by The American Library Association as the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children in 2009.

I am at chapter four and enjoying it. It is pure Gaiman...creepy, different, and definitely unique. A murderer kills a family and is hunting for the one that got away...a toddler. This baby crawls away into the graveyard where he is taken in by the inhabitants there and offered the "protection of the graveyard" - which he needs.

The Graveyard Book at Amazon.com 

January 31 ~ The Graveyard Book is a page-turner. Newberry Award material? Sure. I believe it won because it is on the cusp of a newer trend in children's literature - the macabre. It is a fantasy unlike most others because it takes place almost exclusively in a graveyard and nearly all of the characters are indeed dead or supernatural. Neil has a knack for creating imagery that makes the fantastic seem real, the story starts with a jolt and ends with a flourish. It is a sincere, good-versus-evil delight and Gaiman finds "good" in the uncommon, the bizarre. I give it 4 of 5 stars.

Apparently Neil had the idea for this book over twenty years ago when he would watch his son ride his tricycle by the neighboring graveyard. He had the idea for a sort of graveyard Jungle Book. Interesting. Makes me want to read The Jungle Book.

On a personal note, I love the fact that it took Neil so long to write this book. It makes me see some light at the end of my "I'm-never-going-to-finish-my-novels" tunnel. Of course, he did pen a ton of great books in the meantime, but I am not thinking of that right now.

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