Monday, December 29, 2014

Book Review: The Graveyard Book Volume 1

The Graveyard Book Volume 1The Graveyard Book Volume 1 by P. Craig Russell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nobody Owens (or “Bod” for short) seems like a mischievous young boy in the manner of Huckleberry Finn. Bod loves to explore. He’s curious about the people and the world around him. He gets himself into serious trouble from time to time and has to use his wits and tenacity to extricate himself from danger. The real difference between him and a normal boy? Bod is a human child who dwells in a graveyard with ghosts for adopted parents and a tall, dark guardian, Silas, who is neither living nor dead.

But can Bod’s extended graveyard family keep him safe? Silas provides food and clothing since he can roam outside the gates at night. Mr. and Mrs. Owens give Bod a home in their crypt, as well as love and discipline. Miss Lupescu’s lessons in paranormal creatures and Mr. Pennyworth’s lessons in fading from view like a ghost come in handy when Bod deals with evil ghouls and greedy humans searching after buried treasures. A friendly witch Liza buried right outside the graveyard gives him tips as well, and Bod repays her in kind by giving her the headstone she never had.

Neil Gaiman’s Newberry Medal-winning The Graveyard Book has been beautifully adapted to graphic novel form by illustrator P. Craig Russell. The first volume of the fantasy series features seven excellent illustrators with five chapters and a cliff-hanging interlude that leaves the reader dangling as to whether Bod’s ultimate fate will be among the living or the dead. Volume 2 can’t come soon enough!

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