The Graveyard Book

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Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2015 – The Round Up

Published December 31, 2015 by bibliobeth

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Hi everyone and welcome to my round up post where Chrissi and I talk about our highlights (and lowlights!) of Kid-Lit 2015. We had some fantastic books on the list this year, please see my reviews below and for Chrissi’s reviews, visit her blog HERE.

JANUARY- Five Children And It- E.Nesbit

FEBRUARY- Pollyanna- Eleanor H.Porter

MARCH- Diary of A Wimpy Kid- Jeff Kinney

APRIL- Flour Babies- Anne Fine 

MAY- The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe- C.S Lewis

JUNE- Velveteen Rabbit- Margery Bianco 

JULY- Gangsta Granny- David Walliams 

AUGUST- The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman

SEPTEMBER- Watership Down- Richard Adams

OCTOBER- Goodnight Mister Tom- Michelle Magorian

NOVEMBER- The Class That Went Wild- Ruth Thomas

DECEMBER – The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) – Rick Riordan

So, in the style of the “Talking About…” reviews we normally do, we thought we’d answer a quick few questions about our third year of Kid-Lit blogging.

1) What was your favourite Kid-Lit book of 2015 and why?
BETH: SUCH a tough choice. We had some super amazing titles this year. If I absolutely had to choose one it would be Goodnight Mister Tom which narrowly beats The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, one of my all-time favourites. So beautiful. So moving. I may have shed a tear or two…
CHRISSI: It has to be Goodnight Mister Tom which is one of my favourite books of all time, even as an adult it moved me. Possibly more so. Arghhhh the love I have for this book.
2) What was your least favourite Kid-Lit book of 2015 and why?
BETH: Hmm. There weren’t any real howlers this year (compared to the horror that was The Swiss Family Robinson last year!). Again if I had to choose, I would go for Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. This is not because it’s terrible because it’s not at all. Perhaps I was just expecting something a bit more and maybe I’m the wrong demographic but it wasn’t an amazing read for me.
CHRISSI: Watership Down. I’m a massive rabbit lover and wanted to connect with it more.
3) What was the Kid-Lit book of 2015 that surprised you the most?
BETH: Either Watership Down which was slightly darker than I expected or Velveteen Rabbit which was even more adorable than I expected!
CHRISSI: The Lightning Thief. I didn’t expect to enjoy Percy Jackson as much as I did!
4) Have you been inspired to read any other books from a Kid-Lit author of 2015?
BETH: Yes! Something else from Ruth Thomas after once again thoroughly enjoying The Class That Went Wild as an adult and David Walliams as I thought Gangsta Granny was a brilliant read. Wonder if one of these authors will turn up on our list for 2016? &#X1f60a
CHRISSI: More from David Walliams and Rick Riordan!

For anyone who reads these posts, thank you so much for your continued support, we love doing this challenge and hope to continue it indefinitely. Coming tomorrow – the big reveal for Kid-Lit 2016! Which titles made it this year? And which titles are we going to have to do er…. another year?!

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Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2015 – AUGUST READ – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Published August 30, 2015 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family . . .

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

What did I think?:

Shockingly to some people I’m sure, this was my first foray into the magical world of Neil Gaiman! The Graveyard Book was our August read for Beth and Chrissi do Kid Lit 2015 and I’m so, so glad we picked it. Warning – this book probably isn’t suitable for much younger readers as there are some scary moments that young children might find a bit too much to take. Consider the opening: a man called Jack is methodically making his way through a family home, knife in hand (for reasons we do not know as yet) and ends up killing the entire family save for one toddler who manages to escape into a graveyard. Yikes. The spooks are quite amused by this living creature turning up and are aware of the danger he is in so by a ghosty vote decide to look after and protect the child themselves. Mr and Mrs Owens are to be the boy’s parents, and a man called Silas (who flits between both the living and the dead) is to be his guardian. They name the child Nobody, or Bod for short.

The rest of the novel follows Bod as he grows up in the graveyard, including his adventures with the undead, lessons on how to “fade,” walk through walls and world history. Which by the way is much more accurate when you can actually speak to the people who were there at the time! Bod even goes to school outside the graveyard for a short period, cut short when he witnesses bullying and decides to give the bullies a taste of their own medicine. In doing this, unfortunately Bod has brought a lot of attention to himself which is not something his guardian Silas wants. Especially as the man called Jack is still out there and still hunting Bod down as the child he failed to kill.

Oh my goodness, what can I say about this book? First of all, the idea – so unique and kooky and I really loved the idea of a child growing up in a graveyard protected by centuries-old spooks that both look after and teach him. I loved the character of Bod, he was so unusual (which is what you get when you’re raised by ghosts I suppose?) and so fiercely moral. The way he stood up to school bullies was wonderful and at times, side-splittingly funny as he reversed the roles and gave them a taster of what it would be like to be afraid. This is also a great anti-bullying statement from Neil Gaiman and almost made me wish we had those tools at our disposal in today’s schools! Finally, the illustrations in this book from Chris Riddell were fantastic and complimented Neil Gaiman’s words beautifully. This is my first Neil Gaiman but it definitely won’t be my last. In fact, after I finished this book, I immediately downloaded all his other work, that’s how good it was. Read it, suspend your disbelief and just enjoy!

To see Chrissi’s fabulous review, visit her blog HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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Beth and Chrissi do Kid Lit – the titles for 2015

Published January 3, 2015 by bibliobeth

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This is the third year that my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads and myself have set ourselves a Kid-Lit Challenge and this year we decided to shake things up a bit. We have each picked six so-called “classic” works of children’s fiction and we based this around books published before 1980 (yes, it wasn’t so long ago, I know), and six more “modern” children’s stories. We hope you will enjoy our selection.

JANUARY- Five Children And It- E.Nesbit

FEBRUARY- Pollyanna- Eleanor H.Porter

MARCH- Diary of A Wimpy Kid- Jeff Kinney

APRIL- Flour Babies- Anne Fine 

MAY- The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe- C.S Lewis

JUNE- Velveteen Rabbit- Margery Bianco 

JULY- Gangsta Granny- David Walliams 

AUGUST- The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman

SEPTEMBER- Watership Down- Richard Adams

OCTOBER- Goodnight Mister Tom- Michelle Magorian

NOVEMBER- The Class That Went Wild- Ruth Thomas

DECEMBER – The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) – Rick Riordan