The horror by Neil Gaiman won the top prize for children's literature: The 2009 John Newbery Medal Monday, according to the American Library Association.

Gaiman won for The Graveyard Book, which was illustrated by Dave McKean, the story of a boy named Nobody Owens who lived in a graveyard and was educated by ghosts.

I am so wonderfully befuddled, the best-selling author said after winning the 88th annual Newbery for The Graveyard Book, a spooky, but family friendly story about a boy raised by a vampire, a werewolf and a witch.

I never really thought of myself as a Newbery winner. It's such a very establishment kind of award, in the right kind of way, with the world of librarians pointing at the book saying, `this is worthy of the ages.' And I'm so very used to working in, and enjoying working in, essentially the gutter.

Author Susan Marie Swanson and illustrator Beth Krommes won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for picture books for the book, The House in the Night.

Other winners included Melina Marchetta's Jellicoe Road, given the Michael L. Printz Award for young adult literature, and two Pura Belpre awards for Latino writing _ best author to Margarita Engle's The Surrender Tree and best illustrator to Yuyi Morales for Just in Case.

Finally, Kadir Nelson won the Coretta Scott King Award for a book written by an African American with We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.

48 year-old, Neil Gaiman, , is a British journalist, He has written novels, comic books, children's books, and films, and two years ago wrote an adaptation of the British saga Beowulf for the big screen. His latest film, Coraline, an animated moved based on his own horror novella, is scheduled to open on Feb. 6.