I very much believe that Neil Gaiman deserved to win the Newbery Award Medal for his book, The Graveyard Book.
The idea for his book was unique and just beyond believable. All of Bod’s experiences were real boy experiences, but the views and advice he received were unnatural because his guardians were unnatural.
I think that I like Neil Gaiman better after having read his speech. More so than watching him read from his book. The speech told of his early beginnings, to which he always added a hint of humor. Spending his days in the local library where the librarians allowed him to go wherever he wanted; read whatever he wanted; and encouraged him to read more. I cannot imagine that our local librarians nowadays would allow anything of the sort. I would like to think that they would encourage our children in their reading choices, but I can’t even be certain of that. Some are too concerned that books stay arranged in their proper order; check out be performed in an orderly fashion; and time should be spent on finding the right book for your reading level, not your interest level. There are so many needs for improvement! I loved that Mr. Gaiman read “hungrily” and “devoured” every book of every type, yet felt too “uncool” to eat the sandwiches that his dad would pack for lunch. It almost sounded as if he could have lived on the books alone! And, at his age, he probably really felt that way! But, he was sure to send the warning that libraries are not free daycare ~ hilarious!
I loved his honesty when giving reasons for his wanting to write this book. Even though its subject matter strayed from the normal type of book, he wrote it “because I was interested in the stories; I wanted to find out what happened to the people I made up; and I wrote them to feed my family”. By having the solitary experiences with stories as a child, Mr. Gaiman could connect with those fans who felt drawn to his characters.
And, he’s right ~ you never know how something will end until you begin. You have to find the courage to do what you feel is right. Use your knowledge; your gut instincts; and every ounce of energy you have to complete what is important to you. Pride can be found in works accomplished, not totally on feelings of others.
I enjoyed reading The Graveyard Book, but now have a greater appreciation for Neil Gaiman; the content of the book; and the reasons why it was written.