The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

Book - 2008
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Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060530945
0060530944
9780060530921
0060530928
9780060530938
0060530936
9780062349187
Characteristics: 312 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: McKean, Dave - Illustrator

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - Horror
WCLSTeens Jun 15, 2011

Sometimes the graveyard is the only safe place, and what is dangerous is not ghosts, but the humans waiting outside the graveyard walls.


From the critics


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CMLibrary_DJeffrey Apr 17, 2021

Vintage Gaiman. Wacky characters with heart and lasting substance.

s
sgcf
Apr 04, 2021

I’ve only read one other book by Neil Gaiman ("The Ocean at the End of the Lane"), which was also a speculative fantasy, but for adults - it offered big psychological contemplations. "The Graveyard Book" seems to target the young reader but, never mind, I had a great time listening to Gaiman himself read the audio version with his talented range of character voices. I became comfortable, through the young protagonist, with the goblins, ghouls, witches and ghosts who were raising him in the graveyard, while he kept a look-out for The Man Jack who killed his parents and sister at the outset. Gaiman’s handling if the plot was clever and full of imagination as he builds the world of these quirky characters.

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efnash
Mar 26, 2021

This was one of the first books that truly struck a chord with me. Things that are harder to accept, such as the unfairness of life, loss, and moving on, are all wound beautifully into Bod's coming-of-age in a way that children, young readers, and adults alike can understand and relate.

p
PeaceFinger
Feb 27, 2021

the description alone reminds me of Brian Lumley's Necroscope series, THAT was Fantastic, so probably will look this one over.

l
labraden
Feb 26, 2021

As a toddler, Nobody Owens, known as Bod, survives the death of his family at the hands of a killer named Jack. He then wanders into the local graveyard where he is taken in by Mr. and Mrs Owens, ghosts who never had children of their own, and is raised there by the inhabitants of the graveyard. As he gets older, Bod survives many adventures and the challenges of being a boy living in a graveyard.

The Graveyard book is an interesting story. Even though Bod lives with the dead, he learns lots about what it is like to live. Overall, a well written imaginative story- just not the type of story that I enjoy.

JCLSarahZ Oct 26, 2020

One of my absolute favorites. A captivating story about an orphan raised in a graveyard. When toddler Bod's parents are killed, the residents of a nearby graveyard take him in to raise as their own. Humorous and heartwarming with a little bit of mystery and macabre.

VaughanPLDianeB Oct 20, 2020

Wasn't sure what to expect from this book after the very dark beginning, but it surprised me in some ways. Though a few details were left unexplained, I enjoyed -- for the most part -- the intricate plot, the characters, character development, and the awesome descriptions, with the elements of fantasy and scary interwoven throughout. It can be a little off putting at first, but overall, it's worth a look into Gaiman's writing style. If you're up for illustrations, the graphic novel is worth perusing.

w
w0rkhardusa
Oct 09, 2020

The dead live the life of the living. In the book, the Graveyard, by Neil Geiman, a life of Nobody Owens is portrayed as he lives a life surrounded by the dead. When Bod, short for Nobody, was a young boy his family was brutally murdered by Jack and he lost his loved ones including his sister, father, and mother. Bod had luckily escaped from jack and was founded by Mrs. Owens and Mr. Owens who took him in as their own son and Silas as his guardian. Silas, Mrs. Owens, and Mr. Owens are all dead and live in the graveyard carrying on with their lives as dead. Throughout the story, Bod meets a lot of dead people in the graveyard and matures over a period of time. He even makes friends with a living girl, Scarlett, who supports and encourages him over time. He faces the challenges of going to school, accessing food, and learning to read and write. When the end of the story nears, The Jacks - the last group of brutal murderers find Scarlett and Bod. The main man, Jack wants to finish his revenge and kill Bod, but Bod uses his strategic mind to trick jack, and Bod and Scarlett both escape from the danger safely.

m
MAHPayne
Jun 29, 2020

This is the story of Nobody Owens, Bod for short. After his family is murdered, Bod somehow makes it to a cemetery up the hill from his house where he is discovered by its ghostly inhabitants. They realize that he is in grave danger from the man who murdered his family. His mother’s ghost appears to them begging them to take care of her son. Two of the ghosts, Mr. and Mrs. Owens agree to be Bod’s parents and a mysterious man neither dead nor alive agrees to be Bod’s guardian. They give him the name of Nobody Owens. They also give him the freedom of the graveyard. The book follows Bod’s adventures in and out of the graveyard. He unwittingly gets himself into dangerous situations that the graveyards inhabitants seem to be there to help him get out of. He reconnects with a childhood friend and once again faces the dangerous murderer that killed his family.

The Graveyard Book was very well written. The use of imagery was excellent. The plot is well developed. The author describes the graveyard and the other realm of the ghouls in great detail. The reader will feel as if they have been magically transported into the worlds that Neil Gaiman has created. The characters are very well developed also. This book is packed with teen appeal. It fits the supernatural genre that is so popular with today’s teens. The story is mysterious, full of adventure, and masterfully suspenseful.

The Graveyard Book is also available on e-book, audio-book, and e-comic on Hoopla and e-book and audio-book via the Libby App.

MAH Payne, Librarian

d
dgiard
May 08, 2020

Nobody Owens was a toddler when The Man Jack broke into his home and murdered his family. Young "Bod" survived because he wandered away from his home and into a nearby graveyard where the ghosts of the graveyard raised and protected him.

Neil Gaiman's 2008 novel "The Graveyard Book" tells Bod's story as he grows from a child to a teenager. The first chapter are a series of loosely-connected short stories, set about 2 years apart, relating Bod's encounters with the various ghosts and spirits of the graveyard and (occasionally) the living people of the nearby town. But, in the climax, the stories circle back on themselves: A childhood friend moves away, then returns as a teenager; an ancient guardian re-surfaces; and the Man Jack eventually returns to finish the job he failed to complete years earlier.

Gaiman proves again that he is a master storyteller. He takes some classic horror story ideas - ghosts, malevolent spirits, secret societies, werewolves - and breathes something fresh into them. Bod's mentor - the reformed vampire Silas - is an excellent example.

"Graveyard" is a coming-of-age story for a boy with an unusual childhood. Gaiman was inspired by Kipling's Mowgli and by the sight of Gaiman's own toddler riding a tricycle through a graveyard.

This is a dark, macabre tale; but it is filled with hope. It is aimed at young adults, but kids of any age will enjoy it.

This was my third visit to this story, as I have read the 2-part graphic novel adaptation; and a short story in the "M Is for Magic" collection. And each time, I come away with a new appreciation for Neil Gaiman and his imagination.

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Age

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RobertELPL Mar 04, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

j
jandt_mcmurray
Feb 24, 2017

jandt_mcmurray thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

r
Re_Bel
Jul 08, 2015

Re_Bel thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

g
green_cheetah_745
Apr 22, 2014

green_cheetah_745 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

m
modestgoddess
Apr 05, 2014

modestgoddess thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

h
HolleayExtraVowels
Nov 07, 2013

HolleayExtraVowels thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

szaman1_0 Aug 26, 2013

szaman1_0 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

a
alliealice88
Jul 27, 2013

alliealice88 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

bluestar817 Jul 24, 2013

bluestar817 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Yellow_Cat_297 Jun 21, 2013

Yellow_Cat_297 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Quotes

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It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

d
DanaLibrariana
Jul 31, 2019

“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”

r
readingfairy
Aug 17, 2018

"The boy was a model pupil, forgettable and easily forgotten."
(Page 182)

r
readingfairy
Aug 17, 2018

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."
(Page 1)

Yellow_Cat_297 Jun 21, 2013

"People want to forget the impossible. It makes their world safer."

DesireeOnDeck Jul 19, 2012

good book to read

Ólive Jul 04, 2012

At the best of times his face was unreadable. Now his face was a book written in a language long forgotten, in an alphabet unimagined. Silas wrapped the shadows around him like a blanket, and stared after the way the boy had gone, and did not move to follow.

l
LazyNeko
May 18, 2012

"Because there are mysteries. Because there are things that people are forbidden to speak about. Because there are things they do not remember."

m
mayfairlady
Jun 21, 2010

Quotes From The Graveyard Book

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. The knife had a handle of polished black bone and a blade finer and sharper than any razor...if it sliced you, you might not even know that you had been cut - not immediately.

The knife had done almost everything it was brought to the house to do and both the blade and the handle were wet... "

VeganGreen Jun 04, 2009

“I wanted to keep you perfectly safe,” said Silas. “But there is only one perfectly safe place for your kind and you will not reach it until all your adventures are over and none of them matter any longer.”

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Summary

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j
Jeffrey_Hatcher
Feb 13, 2015

lively and imaginative - as well suited for adults as youth

DesireeOnDeck Jul 19, 2012

An toddler walks out of his house when an man waken in in all black his shoes was black and when he came to the baby carriage the moon was reflecting on his shoe he took out a knife then was about to kill the baby but the baby wasn't there it had escape the house and ends up in a graveyard. His recently deceased mother beseeches Mr. and Mrs. Owens, 500 year inhabitants of the graveyard, to care for and protect her son. The Owenses agree, and with the steadfast assistance of Silas, a shadowy figure who has the Freedom of the Graveyard, the young boy becomes the graveyard's only living residentI just read a book called The Graveyard Book which is a story that follows a two year old boy's odd life until he is fifteen years old. During his life he is raised by ghosts in an abandon graveyard! Nobody Owens his the name the ghosts who adopted him gave him. This story describes his most amazing adventures.

Ólive Jul 04, 2012

A toddler walks out of his house and ends up in a graveyard. His recently deceased mother beseeches Mr. and Mrs. Owens, 500 year inhabitants of the graveyard, to care for and protect her son. The Owenses agree, and with the steadfast assistance of Silas, a shadowy figure who has the Freedom of the Graveyard, the young boy becomes the graveyard's only living residentI just read a book called The Graveyard Book which is a story that follows a two year old boy's odd life until he is fifteen years old. During his life he is raised by ghosts in an abandon graveyard! Nobody Owens his the name the ghosts who adopted him gave him. This story describes his most amazing adventures.

t
t_natrix
Jun 10, 2012

A 2 year old boy escapes his house right before his family is murdered, and ends up in the graveyard. His mother's ghost begs the ghosts which inhabit the graveyard to care for her living son, and hide him from the murderer. So Nobody Owens is raised by the graveyard folk until the day the murderer finds him, and then he has to avenge the death of his family.

e
EBeaudoin
May 01, 2012

I just read a book called The Graveyard Book which is a story that follows a two year old boy's odd life until he is fifteen years old. During his life he is raised by ghosts in an abandon graveyard! Nobody Owens his the name the ghosts who adopted him gave him. This story describes his most amazing adventures.

h
hikers
Feb 23, 2011

A toddler walks out of his house and ends up in a graveyard. His recently deceased mother beseeches Mr. and Mrs. Owens, 500 year inhabitants of the graveyard, to care for and protect her son. The Owenses agree, and with the steadfast assistance of Silas, a shadowy figure who has the Freedom of the Graveyard, the young boy becomes the graveyard's only living resident.

notTom Dec 16, 2010

In this 2009 Newberry Award winner, Nobody Owens has lived in the cemetery at the top of the hill since the night his family was murdered and a pair of ghosts took him in. Encountering vampires, specters, ghouls, werewolves, etc. on a daily basis, young Nobody ('Bod' for short) has the freedom of the graveyard, something accorded very rarely to living people. He has learned to fade, dream-walk, generate fear, and haunt as well as any living person can under the tutelage of the hundreds of ghosts living in his graveyard. As Nobody grows older, he seeks to find out why his parents and older sister were killed, and who exactly it was that killed them. To do this, he must leave the safety of the graveyard and face the danger that lies in wait for him out in the real world.

Set in a unique setting, told in a fresh way (Neil Gaiman himself narrates the audiobook) with a fascinating cast of characters, this book is an engaging hallmark of story-telling that is difficult to put down.

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