Admittedly, I know nothing about Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. However, if you’d like to talk about Disney’s The Jungle Book then I could be of some assistance (I own the special edition DVD). I feel like I should be up front about this information considering Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book is based heavily on Kipling’s book and could be considered a ghoulish retelling. I’m honestly not sure how similar the two are in plot, style, or characters, so if I come off as a know-nothing dope during this review, at lease you’ll understand why.
With that out of the way, ON TO THE REVIEW!
“Nobody Owns, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.”
It took me longer than it probably should have to finish this book. I actually started listening to the audiobook almost six months ago, but I quickly lost interest and never finished. Then, I bought the book during a reading slump fueled book spree and decided to give it another try. Even then, though, I found it a bit hard to get into. Normally I can read books straight through in one sitting if need be, but I found myself wanting to take a break every couple chapters. However, I sailed through the last few chapters of the book in one sitting with zero problems.
Now that I have finished The Graveyard Book, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really enjoyed it. I think it is an especially good book to read aloud to younger children because it isn’t necessarily one continuous story that has to be read all at once. It can be broken up into several different smaller sections that might be easier for children to digest than one long continuous story (although, the ending does tie all of the separate story lines together). The characters are fun and just the right amount of quirky, and the stories are a perfect mixture of spooky and exciting. However, my favorite part of reading this book was imagining how much I would have adored it if I’d read it when I was ten or eleven. It would have literally changed my world, and there aren’t many books that make me feel that way.
All in all, this book is beautiful and fun and I can’t wait to read it to my own children some day.
“Sleep my little babby-oh / Sleep until you waken / When you wake you’ll see the world / If I’m not mistaken.
Kiss a lover / Dance a measure, / Find your name / And buried treasure.
Face your life / Its pain, its pleasure / Leave no path untaken.” - Neil Gaiman