A riff off of Kipling’s, The Jungle Book, where instead of a boy growing up among animals, he grows up among ghosts. It is dark and scary at points, but I did not find it too much so. A junior high kid should be just fine reading it. There are many stories that weave together into one big story. Gaiman keeps the reader’s attention with details and plot movements, but the book is not breakneck pace. There are moments of great danger and great peace. Bod, the boy in story, slowly learns and matures, as we all do in one way or another.
The back of my edition contains Gaiman’s speech for winning the Newbery Medal. In that speech he says he set out to write a book about childhood, but he ended up writing a book about parenting. That is truly the case. The book is a good reminder that all parents must set their kids loose at some point to make their way in the world. We cannot keep them behind fences forever, no matter how scary the world might be.