2 September 2009

Four Books I've Read Lately: 1, The Graveyard Book

It's wonderful what you can pick up and read for free from your local public library.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Children's Bach by Helen Garner
Lord Hornblower by CS Forester
Breath by Tim Winton

I find a can recommend all four of these books. Strangely enough, each of them has a theme connected with the idea of growing up.

The Graveyard Book is the 2009 Newbery Medal winning book by Neil Gaiman, who also wrote Coraline, which is now a movie. The Graveyard Book was actually very satisfying to read. It starts with lots of mist and a murderer creeping through a house. The murderer has killed nearly an entire family, and now he is searching for the baby. The baby, though, has climbed out of its crib and, finding the door open, gone out into the mist. It toddles up hill to the cemetery. The murderer follows, but there are ghosts in the cemetery, and other things, and they take an interest in the baby. Thus it is that the orphan is raised by ghosts. One day he will have to deal with the man who murdered his family and who still wants to finish him off, but in the meantime he has a lot of growing up to do.

An elegant twist in this story is that while the baby has been given special powers by the ghosts so that he can see them and be protected by them, growing up means losing such powers.

It's a pleasure to read an award winning book and actually like it.

Morva Shepley

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