The Graveyard Book Essay Questions

It is intentionally gritty, as is noted by Gaiman when discussing this passage: “...

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The knife had done almost everything it was brought to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet.

(Gaiman, This explicit, descriptive and immediate style brings a feeling of seriousness and impact that does not exist in the earlier example works.

The Graveyard Book by award-winning author Nick Gaiman is a novel about a baby raised in a graveyard by the dead.

Nobody Owens' entire family is murdered in the middle of the night when he is only eighteen months old.

The previous generations of works that have targeted this age range tended merely to be a continuation of the early reader genre - somewhat bland, Disneyfied works that reinforced the ideas of children as lesser beings, needing protection from scary thoughts and ideas and, by extension, who are considered unable or incapable of delving deeper into their text.

However, in and other works, we see that Neil Gaiman’s literature for children reaches for darker and more fully developed plots and characters.This is the core of personal literary analysis – the seeking, finding and reflecting on deeper meanings in literature.The middle-reader/transition age is well capable of beginning the journey into this finding of deeper meanings, and one of the primary ways to bring this out is by creating scenarios, plots and characters that are interesting, emotionally engaging and that have a possible connection to, and for, these tween readers.Nobody escapes by wandering into an old graveyard and is adopted by a couple buried there for more than a hundred years. (read more from the Study Guide) Neil Gaiman has helped to create a renaissance in graphic novels and comic books.Along with other British writers such as Alan Moore, and a host of American writer/illustrators, including Art Spiegel...All of these books have villains or evil characters, and Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West is one of the most prototypical of the entire genre.Yet, despite the proliferation of such ‘bad guys’ in these books, they do not seem to have the depth and realism of fright of contemporary works.In many ways, Coraline, while not fulfilling our expectations of a literary little girl, is perhaps instead a paradigm representing modern children, and their literary tastes.The tween or “middle-reader” audience (generally considered the 8-12 year old range) is problematic with regards to defining appropriate literature - they are several years removed from the “learning to read” phase of their literary development, and are (hopefully) becoming more mature readers - but what does that entail? trying to explore complex situations and characters from the inside; talking and writing about personal and other familiar experiences that chime in with what's been read, thus approaching them from a new perspective; raising questions about the imaginary world and its people, discovering new connections between the imaginary and real world, and thus discussing what human experience is like” (Dixon, 764).This trend helps move popular books for children away from Disneyfied reflections of life toward a more critical and thought-provoking literary experience at a young age.If we were to take a brief look at a collection of popular children’s books from the past featuring similar themes to Gaiman’s work - supernatural creatures, magic, witches, or other unexplainable phenomenon, we might be drawn to such classics as L. All of these books are widely considered to be classic tales from previous generations, and all have elements of the supernatural, from explicit witches and wizardry to the unseen resurrection of characters.


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