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The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

Book - 2017 | Harper Classic edition.
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"Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy - an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack - who has already killed Bod's family. The Graveyard Book, a modern classic, is the only work ever to win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) Medals."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Harper, 2017.
Edition: Harper Classic edition.
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9780062667038
0062667033
Characteristics: 312 pages, 46 unnumbered pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: McKean, Dave - Illustrator

Opinion

From Library Staff

And oldie but a goodie, this book has one of the scariest first chapters ever - a young boy's family is murdered and he escapes, only to find a home and sanctuary in a local graveyard, raised by ghosts.

"Nobody Owens is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the... Read More »

Although classified as YA fantasy, I would recommend this for adults as well. I loved the story and think this book as well as a few other Gaiman books I would enjoy rereading. Bod Owens and his chosen family are very likable but unusual.

Although classified as YA fantasy, I would recommend this for adults as well. I loved the story and think this book as well as a few other Gaiman books I would enjoy rereading. Bod Owens and his chosen family are very likable but unusual.

Neil Gaiman! (Yes, he's the author, but he's really stinking famous.)


From the critics


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TSCPL_Librarian_Deb Jun 15, 2021

A boy grows up in a graveyard. Yes, it sounds strange and this is defnitely a fantasy but a delightful one. Bod (short fo Nobody) ended up in the graveyard after his entire family was murdered. While the killer was still trying to hunt him down, he toddled to the graveyard where the ghostly inhabits decided to offer him their protection. So Bod grows up with a ghostly family and a mysterious guardian named Silas. Silas is not a ghost, but he lives in the graveyard and can only leave it at night - when he goes to get Bod food, and also investigate why Bod's family was murdered. As Bod grows up he goes on various adventures, makes various ghostly and human friends, and gradually learns that he has always been in danger from the assassin who killed his family for mysterous reasons. Eventually Bod must face his enemy, but not without the aid of his guardians and friends.
This is an unusual but delightful fantasy or even fairy tale type story. It is also a coming of age story, as Bod grows up and must learn to face the world on his own. It is also a story about finding family in unusual places. I would definitely reccomend it to anyone.

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.

e
efkawada
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

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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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