Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman has received the top prize for children's literature: the Newbery Medal. The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is illustrated by Dave McKean, and published by HarperCollins Children's Books (A Children's edition was published in the UK with illustrations by Chris Riddell).

When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard?

Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod is an unusual boy who lives in an unusual place - he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him – after all, he is the last remaining member of the family.

A wonderful original novel constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod’s life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?

"A child named Nobody, an assassin, a graveyard and the dead are the perfect combination in this deliciously creepy tale, which is sometimes humorous, sometimes haunting and sometimes surprising," said Newbery Committee Chair Rose V. Treviño.

"I am so wonderfully befuddled," the best-selling author said Monday after winning the 88th annual Newbery for "The Graveyard Book," a spooky, but (he says) family friendly story about a boy raised by a vampire, a werewolf and a witch.

"I never really thought of myself as a Newbery winner. It's such a very establishment kind of award, in the right kind of way, with the world of librarians pointing at the book saying, `This is worthy of the ages.' And I'm so very used to working in, and enjoying working in, essentially the gutter."

Check out Neil Gaiman reading the first chapter of The Graveyard Book below!



Anonymous said...

This was a wonderful book, I loved it. It made me smile and cry in places and I would highly recommend it.

Anonymous said...

Well Anon, at first I thought it was intriguing. And then I wondered where it was going for a bit (in a 'where the hell is this going and please get there soon' way), and then I was so glad that I hadn't given up on it.
The ending almost had me in tears too. Maybe I was already a little emotional...haha.
But it all comes together fantastically, and the referencing to fairy tails etc, is so clever :D
Definitely a winner :]


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