I had never read a Neil Gaiman book before, so I figured one of his most talked about children's book would be a good place to start.
The Graveyard Book starts with the murder of a young boy's family. When the man Jack went to kill the boy, he was not in his crib and was no where to be found. But Jack could still smell him... The smell led the man Jack to a graveyard. The boy's recently deceased mother is frantically screaming at the ghosts of the graveyard to protect her son! Mister and Mistress Owens agree that they need to protect this boy. The man Jack doesn't succeed in killing the baby, but will one day get his revenge. The Owen's name the baby Nobody Owens, Bod for short. They give him the freedom of the graveyard. He can speak to them, walk through walls, and learn from all walks of life, right there in the gates of the graveyard. When his guardian, Silas leaves him for a few days, Bod begins getting into trouble, trouble that could only get worse. The graveyard has secrets of their own, good and bad. We watch Bod grow up learning how to read and write from the words on tombstones. We watch him learn compassion for others by befriending a dead witch. We watch him learn of his fears and weaknesses when confronted by ghouls. We watch him interact with people and ghosts as if there is nothing different between the two.
I must say, the ending was so predictable and I was wishing so so very much that it wouldn't have ended that way. Overall, The Graveyard Book was definitely something that turned me on to Neil Gaiman. A tad strange, but it was still a quick and wonderful read. This was exactly what I needed!