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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