The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

book cover image from

Gaiman, Neil.  Illustrations by Dave McKean.  The Graveyard Book.  312 p.  HarperCollins.  2008.  ISBN  978-0-06-053093-8.

While his family is being murdered, an unknowing toddler climbs out of his crib, out of his home, and to the graveyard.  While the beginning is pretty intense and visual, the rest of the book is not as obviously violent.

The toddler is welcomed at the graveyard by all the dead people, and even one that is neither living or dead.  Mr. & Mrs. Owens, two of the graveyard residents become the “parents” of the toddler, and raise him as their own.  He is named “Nobody Owens”, but everyone calls him “Bod”.  Bod receives his education from Silas, the one that is neither living or dead.

The killer of his family, “a man named Jack”, is still looking for Bod, as Bod was Jack’s target.  The graveyard is a safe haven for Bod and the residents become very protective of him. As Bod gets older, it becomes apparent that he must go out on his own, and live life as a regular human being.

As scary as some parts of the book are, the overall impression that the reader will be left with is one of strong family ties and love.  Well done, Neil Gaiman.

Genre:  Fantasy, Supernatural fiction

Tags: graveyards, supernatural, murder, living, dead, family, horror, ghosts, fantasy

Website:  Neil Gaiman

A/R Reading level: 5.1

Interest level:  Grades 6-9

Link to Harvest Park Library catalog:  The Graveyard Book

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