The Graveyard Book, set in the graveyard in “Old Town” (somewhere in England) is a story about Bod, an unusual boy living in an unusual place and under truly unusual circumstances. When tragedy strikes his family, Bod is adopted by the denizens of the cemetery and guarded by a man known only as Silas.
While he grows he is taught by ghosts from every century, by Silas, and by Miss Lupescu (a werewolf). The tales of his adventures combine a wonderful sense of humor with shades of creepiness and a dash of magic. The assassin that killed Bod’s family was supposed to kill him, too. His failure haunts him and he continues to hunt the boy. In the end, Bod faces the killer—but not without cost.
The end is bittersweet, but well crafted and fitting, even full of hope for Bod’s strange future.
More suitable for tweens and teens, The Graveyard Book has its dark moments and some violence. It is the winner of the British Carnegie Medal and the American Newbery Medal. As an adult, I found it occasionally dark, occasionally sad, and frequently heart-warming.