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review 2018-09-09 17:56
The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book. Children's Edition - Neil Gaiman

This is a fiction horror novel about a boy who lives in a graveyard and is raised by ghosts. I would only read this to kids in 5th, or 6th grade because it is kind of scary and definitely has complex/mature themes including death and violence. If a 4th grader was mature enough and their parent allowed it, I would allow him or her to read it independently. I think Fountas & Pinnell would level it as a U or V which would be 5th grade. When I read it for the first time in 5th grade it scared me, but I read it again in my children's literature class and it still gave me the creeps! I would definitely have to send home a permission slip before I read this to a class.

An activity could be to have kids decorate their own headstones around Halloween. This sounds super creepy, but I would want them to describe themselves with strong adjectives or to write a short poem to be printed on their head stones. I would hang these on the door around Halloween.

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review 2018-09-07 18:46
Who is Nobody?
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

Nobody (Bod) Owens, was raised by ghosts after his parents were killed by the man Jack. He was granted Freedom of the the Graveyard in order to blend in with his surroundings. As Bod gets older, he becomes interested in being educated outside of the graveyard which inevitably makes him noticeable. He battles ghouls, bullies, and naturally curious nature to eventually make peace with who he is and who he has for a family.  I would use this book during language arts. I feel that it would give students the opportunity to discuss their imagination that is typically suppressed as they grow. There are plenty of areas in the book for students to share their view on family and how would their lives be different if they grew up like Bod. The Lexile Measure is 820L.

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review 2018-08-29 16:51
The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book follows Nobody Owens, Bod for short, as he explores his home in a graveyard. Readers join Bod on many adventures throughout his life from escaping the Indigo Man and the ghoul-gate, as well as finding out the truth about his true identity. Bod is safe in the graveyard from the dangers of the outside world, as well as from the man named Jack who killed his family prior to Bod's arrival at the graveyard. The book includes many paranormal characters that encourage student engagement. 


I was skeptical when I saw the book on the required reading list for children's literature course but I ended up enjoying the reading. The book is mysterious and thrilling that students enjoy and keep them engaged. There are many different subjects that can be integrated into the reading such as science and social studies. At the end of chapter 3, Mrs. Lupescu identifies different constellations in the sky. After reading chapter 3 of the book, I would have my students, as a group, research the different constellations and do an oral report. 


AR Level: 5.1

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review 2018-07-17 00:45
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is one of those books that are tricky to review. I can't quite put my finger on what I didn't like. I don't think there was anything present that I didn't like per se, it was more of what was lacking. I just didn't feel that burning in my chest, that rushing in my brain that I usually get when I read good fantasy books, that burning that makes me want to keep reading. This one just kind of puttered along and I dutifully followed, hoping for the best. 

There were so many interesting elements in the story (nightgaunts, a boy called Nobody, a murder mystery, a witch's ghost, and a graveyard home). So many things that should make this book absolutely fascinating. But for the most part I found it kind of boring. 

Bod felt like a character in a book. He lacked personality and I didn't relate to him at all. The story was very drawn out and ramble-y. Most of the ends tie up fairly neatly by the end, but for the majority of the novel, they just seem like a random chain of stories. Even at the end, it just wasn't satisfying. There was no real moment where everything clicked. It just kind of all fell into a pile on the floor and then the book was over. 

This book was really just missing that spark. Despite being set in a graveyard, despite the pitiable orphan boy who doesn't fully fit in with the living or the dead, despite all of the fascinating ghouls, hellhounds, witches, and other awesome creatures, this book just felt mediocre. 

Very creative, which is why I gave the book 3-stars, but really the story just felt okay. I didn't feel invested in how it ended. I just kind of shrugged when it was over and went on with my day. 
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review 2017-09-28 00:00
The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book - 'Dave McKean',Neil Gaiman I think this is the third Neil Gaiman book I've read, and I think I have a weird relationship with his books. I find myself loving the story, loving some of the characters, and enjoying some of the writing...but I also kind of hate his writing :/ I don't know how to explain it (my husband gets it, though), but it's like I feel like there's too much and not enough detail. Too much of things I don't care much about, and not enough for the things in the story I find most interesting.

Anyway...I really liked this book, and I wish it had been around when I was a kid. I probably would have loved it more back then. It wasn't really what I was expecting, even though I actually went into this only knowing "there's a kid who lives(?) in a cemetery with ghosts or ghouls or something, even though he's alive."

I loved the setting. The graveyard was really interesting especially the way Bod was kind of part of it, and could move around like the ghosts, and so were the many ghosties we met. I really would have liked more details about some things, though like how the whole thing with Bod being able to pass through walls and stuff actually worked.

The characters were great. I liked Bod, loved most of the ghosts, and really would have liked to know more about Silas and Miss Lupescu and the Jacks, because that just kept confusing the hell out of me. Liza was my favorite, though. I'm not sure why, but I really liked her.

I'm still just kind of confused about stuff. I don't know if I'm over-thinking or what, but I felt way less satisfied by this than I thought I would. I kept waiting for things to be explained a little more, or for something to make sense, and it never did. While I can enjoy a bit of mystery and leaving things to the imagination, with this one...it honestly kind of felt lazy, like the reader should dream up huge chunks of the plot. I'm not a fan of that. What was the deal with the prophecy or whatever it was? How can Bod move around the cemetery like he does? What the hell were the Jacks? Why could Scarlett and that other girl (Mo?) notice Bod when he Faded, but other people couldn't? Why could Bod see the ghosts for so long, but then suddenly couldn't when he was 15? What was the Sleer? Who was buried in the mound? So many questions. And I still feel like the whole bit with the ghouls was unnecessary. I thought it was going to be important later, but it never was. I mean, sure, Bod opened the gate, but he could have easily learned how to do that from Miss Lupescu or someone. Speaking of her, what was she fighting with Silas? Were they Jacks, or what?

Basically, I think my problem with Gaiman's books is that I read them and feel like my book had missing chapters. Lots of them. I'll almost certainly continue to read them, but I think I need to go into them not expecting to be satisfied at the end.
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