Neil Gaiman is a hero among writers. He is known for writing benefit novels and comic books and television series and anything he can type with those ten magical fingers. He’s one of my personal idols.
My favorite book of his is The Graveyard Book. I read it when I was around twelve. Looking back, I can honestly say that the plot isn’t the most original, but the worldbuilding is incredible. The book is about a baby boy, Owen, who escapes the serial killer that murders his family, Jack, by wandering into the graveyard down the road. He’s adopted by friendly ghosts who raise him as one of their own. He can’t leave the graveyard for fear of getting killed by Jack. The best parts of the book revolve around ghost culture, and what a world run by the dead from different eras would look like.
I actually keep a copy of this book on my desk alongside Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. It’s dark, it’s gritty, it’s everything that middle school Katie wanted in a book. Read it.