All NEIL to the winner of the 2009 Newbery Medal

Here and on other blogs there has been talk of favourite books from childhood so it seems appropriate to mention news about a children’s book published last year that should surely be well-remembered years from now.

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year. According to my calculations this is the 87th year it has been awarded and I am delighted to say that I have read this year’s winning book, “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean. You can see it here at the bottom of a pile of new children’s books. I read both TGB and Chris Priestley’s two Tales of Terror books while on holiday in Cornwall in September. Whilst the Terror books were enjoyable enough I was well aware that I was reading a children’s book. Neil Gaiman’s book was diferent. I think I was a child again or at least suspended any adult thought that I should be reading a “good” well-written book and was totally immersed. I couldn’t put the book down and I lived the experiences with the characters.

gaiman-etc-newbery

My edition of “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaimanis published by Bloomsbury and is a joy to behold and hold even before starting to read.

gaiman-graveyard

The exciting news is that a film is to be made of the book directed by Neil Jordan. Jordan directed “The Company of Wolves” which was based on short stories by Angela Carter in her collection “The Bloody Chamber”. She also wrote the screenplay for the film. When my daughter was about 7 or 8 her favourite animals were wolves and I somehow allowed her to see the film “The Company of Wolves” before I had viewed it myself. It’s amazing that someone didn’t inform social services and have her taken away from me! Neil Jordan has directed other films including “The End of the Affair”, “The Crying Game” and “Interview with the Vampire” but I don’t think that I have seen any of those.

Here’s the trailer from The COMPANY of WOLVES

and The END of the AFFAIR

I seem to have digressed from my original subject, Neil Gaiman and “The Graveyard Book” which tells o the life of a young child who has been brought up in the parallel world that exists in the graveyard, Once you accept the central premise of the book you are swept along with events. I can’t wait to see what Neil Jordan does with the book and it will interesting to see how the casting dice are thrown.

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