The Graveyard Book Review

Warning: Contains spoilers from The Graveyard Book!

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, will have you reading late into the night. With it’s intense story line and mystical characters who slowly reveal their true selves.

Bod, short for Nobody Owens, an infant boy that inadvertently escapes being killed, by crawling into the graveyard at the top of the hill, where he is quickly adopted by the deceased.

Silas, a very tall, reserved man who has been given freedom of the graveyard vows that he will act as guardian of the boy, Nobody Owens, and obtain for him the necessary supplies that the dead can not  provide. Also promising, that if he were to need to leave the graveyard for a prolonged period of time, that he would provide a replacement who would be there to care for Nobody.

When Silas leaves, he entrusts the care of young master Owens to Miss Lupescu. Who, with her grey hair and disapproving frown, enforces her rule upon Nobody.

Although branded a witch, killed, and buried in Potter’s Field without a headstone, Liza Hempstock is a kind young woman. Nobody’s first impression of Liza, in her plain white shift, with her long mousy hair and lopsided smile, is that she has a look similar to a goblin.

Wearing a long grey skirt and shawl which look as if they were made of cobwebs, the Lady on the Grey appears and tells the people of the graveyard that they should except and care for the infant boy, Nobody Owens.

When it is foreseen by a Jack of All Trades that a boy will be born that will walk the line between the living and the dead, who will demolish the Jacks of All Trades, they decide that he must be killed. The man Jack kills the boys family, yet loses the boy, a toddler at the time, when he escapes into the graveyard at the top of the hill and is adopted by the deceased  Mr. and Mrs. Owens and given the Freedom of the graveyard. Since the Owenses’ are dead and cannot leave the graveyard, Silas assumes the role of Bods guardian. Bringing him food and cloths and a few books.

When Silas leaves for the first time, Miss Lupescu comes to take his place. Bod is very upset that he has to stay in the graveyard with Miss Lupescu and cannot go with Silas out into the real world. As a result of his anger and desire to leave the graveyard, Nobody Owens is easily tricked into going to Ghulheim with three Ghouls who want to make him a Ghoul like them.  Miss Lupescu is told by some Night-Guants that Bod has been captured and sets off after Bod to save him from this terrible fate. Luckily for Bod, Miss Lupescu is a Hound of God. After his rescue Bod and Miss Lupescu form a close bond that lasts even after Silas returns.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when Nobody Owens sets out to get a headstone for Liza Hempstock, who he befriends after the tree branch he is sitting on snaps and he falls into the compost pile on the Potter’s Field side of the fence. Liza assesses the condition of his injured leg and they talk about what happened to her. While attempting to sell a brooch he’d found concealed in the graveyard to get the money necessary to buy the grave marker for Liza, Bod is held captive by a greedy pawnshop owner who wishes to know where he got the old brooch. After Liza helps him escape from the pawn shop, Bod returns the brooch to its rightful owner. But he still manages to make her a headstone by engraving on a glass paperweight he had found . As she wished, he first put “E. H.” then he added “we don’t forget.” Liza really enjoyed her gravestone and was very thankful.

Another part I really enjoyed takes place after Bod is allowed to try attending school. Silas and Bod have a fight about Bod’s actions at school. Bod, having been told to stay just this side of invisible, has made himself a local hero at his school by encouraging the bullied kids in the grade below him to stand-up to their tormentor and refuse to give the bully their pocket money. Now, Bod  has left the graveyard and is trying to decide what to do. He finds the house of Nick Farthing, the bully, and dreamwalks into the boys dream, scaring him, so that he wouldn’t bully the kids at school anymore. Unfortunately Mo, Nick Farthings sidekick, calls the cops and reports that Nobody was out breaking stuff in her backyard. On the way back to the police station, Silas tries to stop the car but ends up getting hit. Bod, seeing it was Silas, comes up with a story about how he thinks that it is his dad and gets one of the officers to let him out of the car. Silas and Bod escape when the cops back’s are turned.

Throughout the whole book there is only one part I didn’t like. That was when the author, Neil Gaiman, killed Miss Lupescu in a battle with the Jacks of All Trades. The Honor Guard in which she and Silas were a part of were trying to destroy the Jacks and protect Bod.

I would have to give this book a four-star review due to the mildly confusing story line that at some points is hard to follow. Other than that it was a great book and I would highly recommend it to any young reader who likes action, adventure, and a very small amount of suspenseful horror.

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Locks of Love Donation

On the 15 of April, I made a 11+ inch donation to the charity Locks of Love. It took about a month shy of two years to grow it to such a length. I made the donation at The Hair Factory (see also Their Facebook Page) where they cut it and sent it in for free. My mom also made a donation the same day. My motivation was my dad who made a donation a few years back. My mom did it to encourage me to stick with it.

Here is an image of after the hair cut:

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Wolves of the Beyond: Shadow Wolf

Title: Wolves of the Beyond: Shadow Wolf

By: Kathryn Laskey

Age: 10 and up (for very mild violence and hard to pronounce words)

Rating: **** ( out of 5)

Report: As the second in this thrilling series, it was quite a bit easier to understand and easy to read. it starts to go into the later life of Faolan in his new life in the MacDucan clan. Faolan, while trying to earn his place in the pack, ends up in a mess of trouble. Mean while, Faolans mother who believes her pup is dead discovers something that changes her life…forever. this book is hard to put down and great for kids who love to read.


Rangers Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan

Title: Rangers Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan

By: John Flanagan

Age: 10 and up (at least)

Rating: ****1/2

Report: This gripping semi horror book is impossible to put down. It is the first book in a  series. It tells the story of a young orphan boy and his life in castle Redmont during the Mid-evil times. He is chosen as a rangers apprentice. The rangers corps are highly suspicious group to the people of Redmont and the other fiefs. While all this is happening, Morgarath the  Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night is planning his breakout and war in the Ruins of Gorlan in the Mountains of Rain and Night. This is, in my opinion, a must read series.


War Horse

Title: War Horse

By: Michael Morpurgo

Age: 8 and up

Rating:****1/2 (out of 5)

Review: This story is what I consider a sad action story. Back on his farm, Joey has his boy Albert to protect him and old Zoey (the other farm horse) to keep him company. Then, Albert’s father sells Joey to the war to get some money to help keep the farm. During the war he has many riders/caretakers that are shot, captured, or just pushed out of his life. Meanwhile, Albert grows old enough to join the war, so he joins the veterinary clinic in hopes of one day finding his Joey. After the war though, the men are forced to sell the horses to the people of the country, and after finding his Joey, Albert does not want to let him go. Unfortunately, he has no choice, the horse has to be sold. I think the thing I liked most about the layout of this story is the fact that the author wrote it as if Joey was telling the story which I think made it more exciting.


Call of the Wild

Title: Call of the Wild

By: Jack London

Age: 8 & up

Rating: ****1/2 (out of 5)

Review: This sad, intense, and heartwarming book will keep you on the edge of your seat. When the Klondike gold rush is just begining a civilized dog named Buck who is stolen from his family & is sold to some dog drivers. The dog drivers use the dogs to pull a sled full of mail from Skagway to Dawson. Buck is sold two more times and is saved when John Thornton cuts him free from his sled & heals him. they become great companions. Buck later saves Thornton’s life and it is discovered he will do anything his master says. I do recommend that kids under 10 years of age have the book read to them because of mild language & the fact that it is writen in older style speech could frustrate kids that can’t read the style as well.


James and the Giant Peach

Title: James and the Giant Peach

By: Roald Dahl

Illustrated By: Lane Smith

Rating: ***** (out of *****)

Report: This is a fantasy/adventure story about a young boy who is found by a strange little man in his aunts’ “garden” and given some weired little green diamonds. James doesn’t know that these diamonds will take him on a weird adventure with some weired creatures. On the adventure, they will face some hard to solve problems and some cloudy problems, also. This is a short; easy to read book for children 6 & up to read aloud and kids 4 & up to understand and get a good laugh out of. We got ours at a Half Price Books store (more information will be given on next post). Very good book and highly recommended!


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