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Neil Gaiman

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Jack Wilkinson

on 9 March 2011

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Transcript of Neil Gaiman

The Spooky World oF Neil Gaiman Neil Gaiman was born in November 10, 1960.
His favorite monkey is the Colobus monkey.
If he could, he would turn into a pomengranate or a mango & his advice to young writers is to "Write, Finish Things and Continue Writing" Born in Portchester, England Currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife Amanda Palmer "I'll swap you my dad," I said.
"Oh-oh," said my little sister.

What if you wanted your best friend's two goldfish so much that you'd swap anything for them, even your father?

What if your mother came home and found out what you'd done?

Recommended for ages 4-8 A Note from Neil:
This book started like this:

My son, who is called Michael or Mike these days, but was Mikey back then, was angry at me. I’d said one of those things that parents say, like “Isn’t it time you were in bed,” and he had looked up at me, furious, and said, “I wish I didn’t have a dad! I wish I had …” and then he stopped and thought, trying to think of what one could have instead of a father. Finally he said, “I wish I had goldfish!”

And he stomped off to bed.

I was awed by the idea. Of course one ought to be able to trade a father for goldfish. It seemed a very sensible thing to do.
Newsweek Best Children’s Book
British Science Fiction Association Award for “Best Short Fiction”

A Note From Neil
More then ten years ago I started to write a children’s book. It was for my daughter, Holly, who was five years old. I wanted it to have a girl as a heroine, and I wanted it to be refreshingly creepy.

I started to write a story about a girl named Coraline. I thought that the story would be five or ten pages long. The story itself had other plans....

It was a story, I learned when people began to read it, that children experienced as an adventure, but which gave adults nightmares. It's the strangest book I've written, it took the longest time to write, and it's the book I'm proudest of.

Book Sense Pick
Child Magazine Best Book
New York Public Library's “One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing”
Amazon.com Editors’ Pick
Publishers Weekly Best Book
Bulletin Blue Ribbon (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
ALA Notable Children’s Book
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
IRA/CBC Children's Choice
Hugo Award for Best Novella
ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

Lexile Number 740
Recommended for ages 8 and up "Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house . . ."

The door once led to a room, but when the old house was converted into flats the doorway was bricked up. That is, until the day a curious little girl named Coraline sneaks the key from her distracted mother, opens the door . . . and enters an alternate universe, where dogs eat nothing but chocolate, cats can talk, and she is greeted enthusiastically by her Other Parents.

Her Other Mother looks quite a bit like her own mother -- except for the long spindly fingers and shiny black button eyes -- but it's her disposition that is most remarkable. Where her real mother always seemed too busy for Coraline, her Other Mother is attentive and affectionate. She cooks delicious meals, showers the little girl with praise, and asks Coraline to stay with her forever.

But Coraline misses her real parents -- tiresome as they sometimes are -- and insists on returning to the real world. There, she finds her parents trapped in the hallway mirror, victims of her Other Mother's evil spell. Now she must take a dangerous journey back into the other world . . . or risk never seeing her parents again!

There are sneaking,
creeping, crumpling
noises coming from
inside the walls.

Lucy is sure there are wolves living in the walls of their house—and, as everybody says, if the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over. Her family doesn't believe her. Then one day, the wolves come out.

But it's not all over. Instead, Lucy's battle with the wolves is only just beginning.

New York Times Best Illustrated Book
IRA/CBC Children's Choice

Q: Both Coraline and The Wolves in the Walls have brave heroines. Are Coraline or Lucy inspired by anyone you know?

A: Coraline was a little bit my daughter Holly when she was young, and Lucy is a little bit my daughter Maddy, when she was younger, but both of them are utterly their own selves. Maddy dreamed that there were wolves in the walls when she was little, and that they came out, which was where I got the idea for the story... I think both Coraline and The Wolves in The Walls are about bravery, in very different ways: about fighting back and dealing with the things that scare you. Lexile Number 500
Recommended for ages 9-12 Joey Harker isn’t a hero. In fact, he’s the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house. But then one day, Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension. Joey’s walk between the worlds makes him prey to two terrible forces—armies of magic and science who will do anything to harness his power to travel between dimensions. When he sees the evil those forces are capable of, Joey makes the only possible choice: to join an army of his own, an army of versions of himself from different dimensions who all share his amazing power and who are all determined to fight to save the worlds.

Critic Reviews
With his sarcastic sense of humor and superhuman abilities, Joey is a hero whom teens, even reluctant readers, will cheer for.
— School Library Journal

Lexile Number 830
Recommended for ages 10-14 Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.

He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.

But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family. . . . Awards

Newbery Medal
Carnegie Medal
Hugo Award
Locus Award
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book
Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book
Audiobook of the Year
ALA Notable Children's Book
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
ALA Booklist Editors' Choice
Horn Book Fanfare
Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book
Time Magazine Top Ten Fiction
Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice
New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
New York Public Library Stuff for the Teen Age
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award (Vermont)
Lexile Number 830
Recommended for ages 9-12 Q: Besides Bela Fleck’s “Danse Macabre,” what other songs would be on your Graveyard Book playlist?
A: What a great question. Here’s another nine songs for a ten-song playlist:

•“Walking After Midnight,” Cowboy Junkies version, or Patsy Cline original
•“Born on a Train,” Magnetic Fields
•“City of the Damned,” Gothic Archies
•“We Are the Dead,” David Bowie
•“Graveyard,” Tori Amos
•“She’s in the Graveyard Now,” Earl McDonald’s Original Louisville Jug Band
•“My Death,” David Bowie (again)
•“I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” Amanda Palmer’s cover of Death Cab For Cutie’s song
•“Cemetery Polka,” Tom Waits
Where tigers stalk and ground sloths sleep, amid sailing pirates and leaping dancers, young Bonnie ventures out with comb in hand to tame her friend’s unruly mane.

"In my hair
Gorillas leap,
Tigers stalk,
And ground sloths sleep.
Prides of lions
Make their lair
Somewhere in my crazy hair."

A Note From Neil
My hair is odd. It just is. And when I go places that are humid, it gets odder.

I had gone away to Florida to write and to go to an academic conference. I woke up and looked in the mirror at hair that looked as if a rogue band of hairdressers had crept in in the night and begun to perm and curl it, before being startled away by dogs or night watchmen, leaving parts of it unfinished.

I wrote a letter to my daughter, Maddy, explaining my hair problems. Her reply began “Dear Mr. Crazy Hair...”

So I wrote her a poem, about a girl called Bonnie and Someone with Crazy Hair.

Then I went to the academic conference, and I read important academic things. And, because I had just written it, I read the Crazy Hair poem. When I had finished, lines of important academic people were waiting to talk to me.

“Could we have a copy of that Crazy Hair poem for our grandchildren?” they asked.

It took Dave McKean a very long time to paint the pictures that go along with the poem. But now it has pictures, and it is a poem.

I hope you like it.

Recommended for ages 4-8 A much-loved baby grows into a young woman: blessed, brave, surrounded by all the wonders of the world. What every new parent or parent-to-be dreams of for her child, what every girl dreams of for herself.

“Keep her from spindles and sleeps at sixteen, let her stay waking and wise.”

A Note From Neil

You're probably wondering what kind of book this is.

This is the kind of book that comes about when a friend phones you and says, "I'll be having a baby in a month. Would you write her a poem? A sort of prayer, maybe? We call her the Blueberry. . . ." And you think, Yes, actually. I would.

I wrote the poem. When the baby was born, they stopped calling her the Blueberry and started calling her Natashya, but they pinned up the handwritten Blueberry girl poem beside her bed.

Recommended for ages 4-8 In ancient Norway lives a boy named Odd, and he’s had some very bad luck.

Odd’s father perished in a Viking expedition, a tree shattered his leg, and the endless winter is making his neighbors dangerously grumpy. But perhaps Odd’s luck will change when he meets a bear, an eagle, and a fox who are more than what they seem to be.

A Note From Neil
In most of the world (but not America) they have World Book Day. On World Book Day, in the UK, schoolchildren are given book tokens to buy books with, and a selection of special World Book Day Books are written and published and put on sale. The authors are not paid; the publishers do it for nothing. The idea is to get children reading

Last year I wrote a book for the UK’s World Book Day, a new book called Odd and the Frost Giants. It is a book about an unlucky boy named Odd, with an irritating smile and a crippled leg, in a Norwegian village over a thousand years ago, and how he meets a fox, a bear, and an eagle, and winds up travelling to Asgard to rescue the Norse Gods from the Frost Giants.

Lexile Number 880
Recommended for ages 8 and up Instructions guides a traveler safely beyond magical gates and enchanted cottages, by gardens and woods populated by princesses, wolves, and witches, past a riddling ferryman, and through sea and sky on the backs of enchanted creatures. Its message of the value of courage, wit, and adventurousness makes it a perfect gift for anyone embarking on a journey, especially graduates of any age.

Remember your name.
Do not lose hope—, what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn.
Trust dreams.
Trust your heart, and trust your story Recommended for ages 4-8 Writing Influences include: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Jim Henson, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Dr. Who. Stories to delight, enchant, and surprise you.

Bestselling author and master storyteller Neil Gaiman here presents a breathtaking collection of tales that may chill or amuse readers—but always embrace the unexpected:

•A teenage boy who has trouble talking to girls finds himself at a rather unusual party.
•A sinister jack-in-the-box haunts the lives of the children who owned it.
•A boy raised in a graveyard makes a discovery and confronts the much more troubling world of the living.
•A stray cat fights a nightly battle to protect his adopted family from a terrible evil.
Critic Reviews
“Inventive, scary, thrilling and finally affirmative.”
— Washington Post Book World

“This chilling collection contains 10 short stories and a poem...creepy, funny, and clever on the page, [with] expert storytelling and rhythmic use of language.” — School Library Journal

“Ten short stories and one poem...allow [Gaiman] to strut his stuff, particularly that of the deliciously creepy variety.” — Kirkus Reviews

Lexile Number 880
Recommended for ages 10-14 Sources:
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