Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I entered the world of Kidlitosphere because I wanted to find different books for Read Alouds. Boy, what a wonderful world it is. I recently finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It was one of the best read aloud books I have ever done. It was fun to watch the faces of other adults when the book is described. Yes, the look of shock and “What are you thinking?” is not easily masked. A while back I was at The Bookies and we were talking about the book and someone said “It will be in the cannon of children’s lit!” I agree.

The Graveyard Book
is not your normal read aloud. It starts off with a gruesome scene, but what follows is what makes it a hit. When I finished the book the class clapped and said read it again. I had 29 third graders at the tip of my tongue. What power in Mr. Gaiman’s words. Here are just a few things my students had to say about this book:

“I like graveyards and dark stuff. The Graveyard Books is wicked!” OK, F is really into vampires!
“It was creepy.”
“My favorite read aloud this year was The Graveyard Book because Bod is able to see ghosts and I like to imagine that.”
“It always had a good ending of the chapter.”

My read aloud time is right before lunch. It is not long enough, but we make due. The book is full of cliff hangers which made it fun to stop at key points because it was lunch time. Towards the end of the book the suspense builds, but it was time for lunch. The reaction to me stopping was so loud that the art teacher came out of her room to see if there was a fight. They were ready to get me!

I read the book before I did it as a read aloud. I enjoyed it more the second time. I can’t wait to find another book that will excite us in the same way.

Last day of school tomorrow!!!

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