It was a foggy night when Nobody came to the graveyard. A small toddler, not quite two and just learning to walk he had managed to climb out of his crib, down the stairs, out the front door of his house and up to the old graveyard at the top of the hill. It’s a good thing that he had too, for had Nobody not gone to the graveyard that night he would have suffered the same grizzly death as the rest of his family at the murdering hands of The Man Jack.
With the strange assassin hot on the poor boy’s heels it looks as if all hope is gone for the little tyke, that is until the most unlikely of protectors steps in… Mrs. Owens, one of the inhabitants of the graveyard who just happens to be the ghost of a woman who has been buried there for centuries. After a frantic plea from the child’s newly dead mother to protect her son from the same fate that befell the rest of her family, Mrs. Owens agrees to take in the child and raise him like her own. There’s really only one problem though, since Mrs. Owens and her husband are both dead and have been so for the past few hundred years, taking care of a living, breathing child may prove to be somewhat difficult.
Thankfully there is another who inhabits the graveyard. Not quite dead but no longer of the living, Silas agrees that if the Owenses are willing to become the child’s parents, he shall be willing to become his guardian. Silas is not bound to the graveyard like the others that dwell within for he is not a ghost, he is a vampire and some time ago he himself found his way to the old graveyard on the hill in need of safe harbor. At first there are grumblings from the other ghosts but when the graveyard is visited that night by none other than the Lady on the Grey, the personification of death itself on her pale horse who declares “The dead should have charity.” it is agreed that the child should stay.
After a heated debate by the graveyard inhabitants over whose dead relative the child most looks like, Silas declares that the child looks like nobody and so begins Nobody Owens‘s adventures growing up in the old graveyard on the hill.
Written by Neil Gaiman with illustrations by Dave McKean, The Graveyard Book waves an enchanting spell, binding the reader until the very last page. You can’t help but find yourself enthralled as you follow the adventures of Nobody Owens, a living boy being raised by the dead and the not so dead alike. Adopted by ghosts and protected by a vampire, Nobody learns many things growing up inside the graveyard. He learns the ways of ghosts such as how to haunt the living and how to fade into the shadows. He also learns about ghouls and other supernatural creatures such as the mysterious Hounds of God. Nobody’s most important lesson however is that no matter how much time has passed and no matter how safe you think you are, when The Man Jack wants you dead, he will not stop until the job is done.
Like Neil’s bestselling novel Coraline, The Graveyard Book, though written for young readers, is sure to enthrall the young, the old and the ageless alike.