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review 2017-04-06 22:47
So Many Opportunities!
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

When my children's lit professor assigned this book, I was not thrilled. I don't want to read a book about a boy who was raised by ghosts. That sort of story doesn't appeal to me at all, but I found myself staying up until 1am trying to finish it. This is a well written story about a boy whose parents are killed when he is a baby and then he ends up getting raised by ghosts, a vampire, and a werewolf. Despite the spooky theme of the book, it actually teaches extremely good lessons. Bod, the protagonist, grows up and becomes his own throughout the story. He learns how to read and write by tracing/rubbing letters on gravestones, he learns about history by the dead people who lived through it, but most importantly, he yearns to learn more. What Bod really wants to do is read and learn as much as he can. This book shows how important education is in a totally different way than most people imagine. I would use The Graveyard Book with upper elementary- no younger than 5th grade- for many reasons. When teaching this book in the classroom, there are obvious lessons you can teach such as figurative language, references, writing styles, etc. But there is so much content that can go beyond that. You could use this to teach about European history (or any history for that matter), early American history, the human body (science), geography, and many others.

If I were teaching this, one of the activities I would do would be to have the students pick out a prefabricated name and birth/death date out of separate piles. I would then have the students do heavy research on that time period (I could give a location if necessary such as the US). They would then write a fictional story about their character and give the character an inscription on a headstone that they would draw. 

 

Lexile: 820L

Grade Equivalent: 5.4

 

Wonderful website I found full of The Graveyard Book resources:

https://sites.google.com/site/theghoulgate/home

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text 2017-03-28 23:45
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s novel The Graveyard Book tells the story of a little boy named Nobody Owens, or “Bod” for short, who was not raised under normal circumstances. After wandering from his crib in the middle of the night as a baby, he unknowingly escapes from a murderer in his house. The murderer is still on the loose throughout the course of the novel, and he is in search of Bod. While he is growing up, he is raised in a graveyard by ghosts who educate him on how to protect himself from the man who is out to kill him. You may be thinking by this point: why would anyone consider this to be a children’s book? Surprisingly enough, the book is an amazing story for young readers! Bod demonstrates courage throughout the novel, never allowing the man who wants to kill him to succeed with the job. The book’s Lexile reading level is 820L, and it is recommended to be read by students in higher grades like fourth and fifth grade. In my classroom, I would want students to form book groups to read the novel. I would want each student in the group to have a job to do with the book, and each group would get to engage in their own discussions about what they think. I would also want the students to analyze how Gaiman appeals to his reader’s senses through his strategic use of imagery.

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review 2017-03-26 21:15
Review: The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book - 'Dave McKean',Neil Gaiman

I really enjoyed The Graveyard Book while I was reading it.  The story and characters held my attention and it was a short, fast read.  Having finished it, I do wish there had been more meat to it.  The story had a reasonably satisfying if bittersweet end, but there were things that could have been fleshed out better and I wish the book had a sequel or two.  I’d really like to see the characters again and find out what happens next for them.  It feels like I was with them for too short of a time.

 

The story begins just after the parents and older sister of the main character, Nobody, have been murdered.  Nobody is a toddler when the book begins, oblivious to what’s going on, and the only reason he isn’t murdered with the rest of his family is because he has a tendency to escape his crib and wander off.  Since the murderer left the door to the house open, Nobody is able to wander out of the house and up the hill to a graveyard where he’s protected and raised by the dead who inhabit the graveyard.  The author was inspired by The Jungle Book, which explains the title.

 

One particular complaint I have now that I’ve finished is that the underlying motivation for the murder wasn’t explained sufficiently at all.  We were given an explanation, yes, but it’s one that brings up more questions than it answers.  There were also great secondary characters in this book, and I wish we had seen more of them and learned about them in more detail.  That’s really my only complaint with this book.  I really enjoyed it, but I was left wanting more.

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review 2017-03-07 00:00
The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman Review to come.
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text 2016-12-05 21:30
Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

Goodreads summary:

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard. 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.

 

My opinion:

At first I found this story a bit weird and it took me a little while to get into, but I started liking it more after I read the first three chapters. I think the reason why I didn't like it at the beginning is because the story is very strange and it also has a quite creepy feeling. However, I really liked the rest of the book and the message. This story is a story about living and dying and that you should really, really try to make as much as possible out of your life (and about growing up). Neil Gaiman also said in the acknowledgements section that he read and reread The Jungle Books (by Rudyard Kipling) many times as a child and I could see some similarities (that I just noticed when I found out about it) like that being stranded as a baby etc. (thought that was a fun fact to share). This was my first book by him and I'm quite excited about his other books (especially Coraline). If you haven't read this one I recommend it to check it out.

 

What is your opinion about this book?

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