The Graveyard Book is a treat. Author Neil Gaiman, inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, crafted a marvelous story about a boy raised, not by wild animals, but by the deceased inhabitants of a British graveyard. Young Nobody (“Bod”) Owens is the only living resident of the cemetery. After his family is murdered, he wanders into the graveyard where he is brought up by the many neighborly spirits who died during different times in history, including a Roman legionnaire and a young girl drowned for suspected witchcraft. Bod learns numerous important skills from the ghosts, including “Fading and Sliding and Dreamwalking.” When he gets a bit older, he must put these abilities to use when he confronts the murderous secret society that killed his family.
I totally nerded-out today when I read Neil Gaiman’s answer to a question about whether the graveyard in the book is based on one in real life. His answer: “The graveyard in The Graveyard Book is a composite of a few Graveyards – mostly of Glasgow Necropolis, Abney Park and Highgate Cemetery West.” The Glasgow Necropolis (isn’t that a great word?) was one of my favorite places to wander about and take pictures during the five months I spent studying in Scotland.
Luckily (sadly?) I never saw any ghosts.