4 out of 5 Stars
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead.
There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more.
But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.
A deliciously dark masterwork by bestselling author Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by award-winning Dave McKean.
A sweet and melancholy coming of age book. The illustrations were the perfect touch–haunting and eerily unfinished feeling.
I love how this book portrays creatures that should be traditionally frightening to kids–ghosts, mummies, werewolves, vampires–and turns them into a beautiful and doting found family for young Bod. All of the characters felt very real and alive (even though a large number of them were actually dead).
The writing style was easy to read–perfect for middle-grade readers–though the pacing did seem a bit slow at times. Although the ending was somehow predictable, I loved how the plot tied everything together with a somewhat sad but also hopeful ending. Trigger warnings for young readers sensitive to discussion of death and violence.
Overall I enjoyed this sweet book and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend it for anyone who loves stories that paint monsters in a unique light 🙂