* * * B
Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” is a fun little fantasy novel about a boy who, after his family are slaughtered by the mysterious ‘man Jack’, is raised by the ghosts of the local graveyard. In the first act, his sole friend is a girl whose parents bring her to the graveyard to play. In the second act, he grows up, has many adventures, and eventually leaves the graveyard to attend school. The final act has his guardian, the mysterious Silas, and tutor Miss Lupescu leave him on his own, and he must fight to save his childhood friend from Jack and his cronies.
The novel is written for young adults, but is quite good. Gaiman’s usual whimsical style shows through. The fantasy world is complex and interesting, though it left me with many unanswered questions. The characters are well realized, and the plot is a solid coming of age story. If you like Gaiman and aren’t averse to reading a book written for children, I recommend it.