El libro del cementerio

[The Graveyard Book]
Year: 
2008
Type: 
Public: 
Moral Assessment: 
Type: Literature
Nothing inappropriate.
Some morally inappropriate content.
Contains significant sections contrary to faith or morals.
Contains some lurid passages, or presents a general ideological framework that could confuse those without much Christian formation.
Contains several lurid passages, or presents an ideological framework that is contrary or foreign to Christian values.
Explicitly contradicts Catholic faith or morals, or is directed against the Church and its institutions.

Opening with the brutal murder of an entire family, the surviving baby crawls away to a nearby graveyard and is adopted by the dead. Given the freedom of the graveyard, he learns how to haunt like a ghost and his growing up story is told in a series of episodes among a host of multi-generational dead characters. His guardian is the magical vampire, Silas, aided by a werewolf. The murderer still wants to kill the child and the dead protect him from harm. The climax comes when the boy and assassin finally face eachother and the boy, Nobody Owens, learns why his family has been killed.
Inspired by Kipling’s The Jungle Book where Mowgli is raised by the animals in the jungle, this is an allegory of childhood written for 9 to 12 year olds. It is highly imaginative and horror-lite for the intended audience, with a good dose of humour thrown in. (There is a trend for the macabre in children’s literary at the moment.) It is a fantasy horror novel that can appeal to both boys and girls of the intended readership. The villains are suitably cartoonish, though the horror comes from the possible murders rather than from being among the dead. There is a good blend of horror, humour, action and humanity.
C.C. (United Kingdom, 2016)