After surviving the murder of his whole family, a toddler finds refuge in a graveyard, where he is raised by ghosts. Nobody Owens grows up as a living child among dead people, cared for and loved by people who are either not-quite, or no-longer, human. Eventually, as a teenager, he must live among his own kind, the living, in a world he knows almost nothing about. But first he must escape the man who tried to kill his family, who is still searching for Nobody.
This is a haunting (pun intended), scary-yet-sweet little ghost story, and although it’s marketed as a children’s book, age-based categories don’t really apply to Neil Gaiman’s books. I found it had much the same feeling as Gaiman’s recent novel for adults, The Ocean at the End of the Lane — a fantasy novel rooted in the real world, that raises questions and suggests answers that are relevant even to those of us who never have any dealings with ghosts or witches. Both books made me cry a little at the end, and that’s always a recommendation.