The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 320 pages
This book just won The John Newbery Medal.
Nobody Owens - Bod for short - had an unusual childhood – he was raised in a graveyard. After the horrific death of his parents at the hands of a knife-welding murder, the toddler ends up in the graveyard on top of the hill and is adopted by a group of ghosts who live there. Mr. and Mrs. Owens have been married over 200 years and never had children, so they quickly take the child under their wings.
In an attempt to hide the child from his would-be murder, they name the child Nobody, because nobody knew who he was. The entire graveyard have a hand in raising Bod, teaching him to read and write, providing him a place to sleep and food to eat.
Although this book has a bizarre plot, it is a fascinating read from cover to cover. Gaiman is a wonderful storyteller and this is a book children and adults alike will enjoy.