Neil Gaiman Wins Newbery Medal

Acclaimed author Neil Gaiman was announced on Monday as the 2009 winner of the prestigious John Newbery Medal for his novel “The Graveyard Book”, and it is a more than well-deserved award for the best-selling science fiction and fantasy writer. “The Graveyard Book” is the story of an orphaned boy who is raised by the spirits in a graveyard, a story that Gaiman says was inspired by Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”, and an occurrence with his own 2 year old son some 20 years ago when he allowed the toddler to ride his tricycle in a cemetery across the road from their home and was inspired to ask, “What if a young boy was raised by dead people?”

I have been a fan of Neil Gaiman’s work since his run as writer on DC/Vertigo’s “Sandman” comic book series and have been entranced by a host of his novels like “American Gods”, “Anansi Boys”, “Stardust”, “Neverwhere” and many others. He is also a prolific blogger, which is a favorite in my RSS feed, and he has apparently fallen in love with Twitter and delights those who follow him (that would be me as well) on that social-media tool with multiple tweets on a daily basis.

Newbery winners have included such favorites as Louis Sachar’s “Holes” and Kate DiCamillo’s “The Tale of Despereaux” as well as a favorite of mine from my own childhood, Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle In Time” which won in 1963.

On Gaiman’s blog, he writes that “The Graveyard Book” is not just a children’s book. It’s “a book for pretty much for all ages, although I’m not sure how far down that actually starts. I think I would have loved it when I was eight, but I don’t think that all eight-year olds were like me.”

No, but some of us were, lol.

Congratulations to Mr. Gaiman on this illustrious award!

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