While in Denver, we attended the Youth Media Awards press conference. I was excited to learn that Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book was awarded the 2009 Newbery Medal. I have been a fan of Neil Gaiman for some time but had not read this one until now.
Nobody "Bod" Owens finds himself living in a graveyard. Of course, it is not the usual life for a living, breathing boy. But he knows no other life. As he gets older, he learns many things, including some tricks of the dead. The inhabitants of the graveyard protect and raise him as one of their own.
Gaiman readily acknowledges Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book as an inspiration. And no doubt, the similarities are there. But Bod stands on his own, with much imagination and care on the part of Gaiman. While I thought it was a little slow to get going, I found it hard to put down the further into it I went.
With great characters and a mix of fantasy, spooks and growing pains, its obvious why this book is popular with readers as well as the critics!