Author: Neil Gaiman
Reading Level: 4th grade and up
Edition: Hardcover, 2008
This one definitely reached deeply into my heart. Love the world building. The Graveyard became a “residence” for my soul for the duration of reading/listening to the book — a real place where my mind can wander. I could picture the sights, the light, the details, both described in the book and not described, undefined. My mind filled in all the corners and expanses and turned that world into a tangible space. Even after the storytelling is over, The Graveyard remains in my heart. Now it’s as real and as cozy (if a cold graveyard can be cozy) a place as my Library’ Reading Room.
I think the short story format works really well. Each “story” has a satisfying conclusion. Each advances the larger tale forward, too. Bod’s maturation is expertly handled. And then, the conclusion of the entire tale is bittersweet, and yet not disappointing. (Oh, I guess I was sad that Bod might lose all the ghostly skills he possessed as a child and slightly mad of Gaiman for that — why can’t he still straddle the two worlds, even when he chooses to venture out into the world? My mind does not wish to accept that conclusion so I am making up other adventures for Bod that requires him to go into the other realms, to fade, and to haunt!)
I was shocked but really appreciated how Gaiman handles Bod and Scarlet’s necessary parting. Keeping us readers on our toes, always. (And that little scene where Scarlet hugs Bod… so achingly revealing: since the age of two, he has not really been hugged, by real flesh and bone.)
And there is the rich imagination, the host of distinctive and adoring characters, a most chilling villain, and all that witty humor. How could I not love the book to pieces?