Friday, January 20, 2012

The Graveyard Book...

The Graveyard Book is the story of Nobody (Bod) Owens.  (How can you not love a book whose hero is named Nobody Owens?)  As a toddler, Bod narrowly escapes the grisly deaths his parents and sister suffer.  He toddles his way into a graveyard where he is granted the Freedom of the Graveyard and adopted by ghosts.

The book reads almost like a collection of short stories with the thread of Bod's unusual journey to manhood and growing need to understand his past and obtain justice, or arguably vengeance, woven throughout.  Bod's other-worldly guardian wrestles with how to balance Bod's love of learning and desire to experience the world, specifically school, with the need to keep him safe.  (Hmmm, thought provoking for the homeschool community.)  I love this exchange between Bod and a bully at school:
"You're weird," she said.  "You don't have any friends."
"I didn't come here for friends," said Bod truthfully.  "I came here to learn."
Mo's nose twitched.  "Do you know how weird that is?"  She asked.  "Nobody comes to school to learn.  I mean, you come because you have to."

The beauty of this book is in the details.  I love the epitaphs...

I was a stranger and you took me in.  

Who Did No Harm to No Man all the Dais of Her Life.  Reader, Can You Say Lykewise?

And the minor characters like
Nehemiah Trot
who exacted revenge on his literary critics by having himself buried with his unpublished poetry, forcing them to dig up his body once his genius was, inevitably, recognized. 

Bod:  And after you died, they dug you up, and they printed the poems?
Trot:  Not yet, no.  But there is still plenty of time.  Posterity is vast.


This is a perfect book for a rainy weekend.  Enjoy!

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