The story begins with a horrible murder, but one person in the house survives, a toddler who manages to stumble outside and wander to the graveyard down the street. There, the ghosts discover, adopt and name him; "Nobody" or Bod is the only truly alive person in this haunted place.
But the killer is still out there, and he's still on the prowl.
A fanciful, fantastic book filled with a little bit of fear and lot of humor; the ghosts are far more friendly and kind than the humans.
While most YA books disassociate themselves from the past, this one treats past and present as one. Gaiman is a master at weaving in layers of history, creating a rich world in which fun and dread inhabit the same playground.
Bibliotherapeutic value: Although Bod's story begins with mass murder and his life is run through with danger, he also finds friendship and nurturing at the hands of others (though those others are often supernatural!). Bod, often too trusting, has to discover who will protect him and who won't. About navigating danger in the world.
Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book. New York: HarperCollins, 2008.
ISBN: 0060530928. $17.99.