Posts Tagged ‘Ghosts’

The Graveyard Book

October 31, 2012

The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

Title: The Graveyard Book

Genre: Horror, Fantasy Fiction

Publication Date: October 2008

Number of Pages: 312 pgs.

Geographical Setting: Cemetery grounds in Great Britain

Time Period: Present Day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: When he was just a baby Nobody Owen’s family was murdered by the man called Jack. Fortunately for Nobody he escaped this man and crawled to safety to the cemetery up the hill. There Mr. and Mrs. Owen found the boy and with the help of his new guardian Silas the boy would grow up protected in the graveyard. He is given “the freedom of the graveyard” which allows him to communicate with the dead and the living. He even learns skills of fading, dream walking, and the languages of nonhuman being. Over the years however curiosity got the best of him and he finds himself on many adventures, both in and out of the graveyard. Some involving witches, ghouls, ghosts, werewolves, snake like creatures and more. Even attending a school for the living doesn’t go as planned for Nobody. Throughout his youth, the man named Jack is in constant pursuit of the boy and wishes to finish what he started years ago. He will not stop until his job is complete.

This coming of age story will appeal to those in their teen years as well as any adult with an imagination. Darkly written at times with a chilling atmosphere, this book is sure to please those who like suspense novels. Witty and humorous at times, this book will ease those who don’t want to be “scared to death” but enjoy a darker tales.

Subject Headings: Orphan boys, Cemeteries, Ghosts, Supernatural, Werewolves, Dead, Boys

Appeal: Orphan boy, Graveyard, Murder, Ghosts, Suspenseful, Friendships, Creepy, Witty, Fast Paced, Bittersweet, Coming of age, Scary

Three appeal terms that best describe this book: Coming of Age, Scary, Ghosts

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Weird encounters: true tales of haunted places (Sep 2010)
This book tells the stories of over 75 hauntings and supernatural experiences found throughout the United States. If you liked the idea of a boy growing up in a graveyard and at times haunting people you may like to read about “real” haunting in the US.
Similarities: Ghosts, Graveyards, Scary

2. Orphan Train Rider: One boy’s true story (1996) by Andrea Warren
Tells the story of one mans trip on the orphan train and how over 200,000 abandoned children were relocated to new homes between 1854-1929.
Similarities: Orphan boy, Coming of age
3. Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England ghost town (2009) by Elyssa East
Tells the story of a ghost town in Massachusetts. Where murder took place and witches still hold ceremonies in the woods surrounding the town to this day. People claim sightings of pirates and ghosts.
Similarities: Ghosts, Murder, WitchesThree Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:1. Ghostgirl (Aug 2008) by Tonya Hurley
If you liked reading about a boy growing up in a graveyard, you may like reading about a girl who goes to a high school for the dead. She lives among the dead but wishes to go to the school dance with the living and her crush. Switching roles from a live person living with the dead to a dead person wishing to be alive again will give readers a chance at a different view on the meaning of life and death. Similarities: Ghosts, Fantasy, Death2. Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children (Jun 2011) by Ransom Riggs
If you liked reading about a boy with some unusual abilities then you’ll enjoy Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children. In this book a young boy goes to visit the orphanage his grandfather was sent to in order to escape the Nazi’s. Upon arriving he finds that the children from his grandfathers stories are still there and are in danger and so is he.
Similarities: Orphans, Suspenseful, Supernatural, Creepy

3. The replacement (Sep 2010)
Mackie, a changeling, replaced a human baby when he was just a baby. Every seven years the inhabitants of the underground dwelling take a human baby as a sacrifice and leave in its place a changeling. Now with another baby gone, Mackie finds himself going back to his place of birth and setting things right, before the townspeople find out who he really is.
Similarities: Creepy, Fantasy, Supernatural

Name: Madison Gailus

The Graveyard Book

June 21, 2010

The Graveyard Book (Audio) Cover

Author:  Neil Gaiman (narrated by the author)

TitleThe Graveyard Book (unabridged audio)

Genre:  Fantasy, Mystery, Horror, YA fiction

Publication Date:  2003

Length: 7 CDs; 7.75 hours

Geographical Setting:  Great Britain

Time Period:  present day

Plot Summary:

On a dark, quiet evening a cold and efficient killer wielding a razor sharp knife- a man called ‘Jack’- is making quick work of his assignment: to murder a family of four in a small British town. All is going according to plan until Jack finds that the youngest, an 18 month-old boy, has left his crib and toddled off, out into the night. Following his keen sense of smell, Jack stalks up the hill and into the graveyard, looking for the child that got away. But Mr. and Mrs. Owens, deceased couple and graveyard residents, find the boy first. Sensing the distress of the boy’s recently dead mother, the Owenses hide and protect him, and the man called Jack leaves to look elsewhere.  With the narrow escape, a prophesy unfolds.

The ghost couple adopts the child and Silas, a mysterious character neither ghost or human, agrees to be his guardian. They name him “Nobody Owens,” or Bod for short. Bod is given “the freedom of the graveyard” and grows up walking a line between the worlds of the living and the dead. He befriends ghosts, witches, and werewolves, and learns the skills of haunting. For the most part Bod is safe in the graveyard, but he can’t avoid the outside world forever. The man named Jack is still looking for him, and will not rest until his mission is complete.

Neil Gaiman’s narration delights, frightens, and engrosses, making the listener laugh while at the same time expressing the danger lurking. He effortlessly embodies characters of varying ages and historical periods, from ancient vengeful spirits and ghouls, to a sleek white haired businessman and teenager with a Scottish brogue. Each disk ends with a cliffhanger, leaving the reader clamoring for the next chapter.

Subject Headings:  Boy orphans, Supernatural, Cemeteries, Orphan Boys, Ghosts, Werewolves, Dead, Occult fiction, Fantasy fiction

Appeal: creepy setting, haunting, witty, dark, quirky characters, multi-generational, humorous, magical, adventurous, foreboding, heroic, coming-of-age, climactic ending

3 terms that best describes this book: humorous, creepy, coming-of-age adventure

Similar Authors and Works:

Nonfiction

The Black Hope Horror: the True Story of a Haunting by Ben & Jean Williams and Bruce Shoemaker

Odd occurrences, violent storms, plagues of insects, and finally five swift deaths strike the Williams family upon moving into a quiet Texas subdivision, which, they soon discover, is situated on a graveyard.

Similarities: spooky, creepy, haunting, graveyards, nightmares, cinematic

Necropolis: London and its Dead by Catharine Arnold

Offers an historical narrative of the city’s attitude to going the way of all flesh. This blend of archaeology, architecture and anecdote includes phenomena such as the rise of the undertaking trade and the pageantry of state funerals; and public executions and bodysnatching. This book covers both anecdotal history and cultural commentary.

Similarities: graveyards, culture of death, Danse Macabre, British atmosphere and culture

The World before this One by Rafe Martin

This collection of 14 Seneca tales is presented through the retelling of one central story into which all of the others are artfully woven. The Author’s Note sets the stories in their historical context, relating the importance of the Seneca as one of the founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. An introduction by Seneca Elder Peter Jemison sets the stage for Martin’s storytelling in the tradition that’s gone before.

Similarities: boy orphan protagonist, coming of age, storytelling, adventure

Fiction

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin

Jack sets out to seek his fortune in Toy City and hooks up with Eddie Baer as they try to stop a serial killer who is murdering old nursery rhyme characters.

Similarities: Humorous (British humor), dark, adolescent protagonist, quirky characters

A Brief History of the Dead Kevin Brockmeier

A city in the afterlife world is inhabited by the recently departed who are sill remembered by the living. Here Marion and Phillip Byrd fall in love again, while their living daughter, Laura, is stranded alone in an Antarctic research station. As souls disappear from the city in droves, it becomes clear that tragedy has swept planet Earth.

Similarities: contrasts/ explores the living world with afterlife, fantasy environments, imaginative

Nation by Terry Pratchett

After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.

Similarities: Witty, humorous, good vs. evil, similar characters, fantasy, adventure story

Name: Amy