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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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The Graveyard Book (edition 2010)

by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (Illustrator)

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12,305879206 (4.19)1 / 999
bplteen's review
Review by: Courtney P

THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ IT'S SOOOO GOOD!!!!!!! ( )
  bplteen | Apr 27, 2012 |
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Showing 1-25 of 865 (next | show all)
It's an okay book and very weird.After finishing the book I am feeling unsatisfied.

None of the mysteries of the story was answered properly.What were the "Jack" men really?It was not answered properly.The prophecy about the boy was neither very impressive.And what kind of guarding Silas really do,it was not answered either.A boy lived in a graveyard for 15 years of his life and then he suddenly took off on his own to the outside world without the adequate knowledge about it.How is he going to survive, I have no idea.
Well over all a mysterious book which remains mysterious even after finishing it. ( )
  sreeparna | Jul 27, 2014 |
If Kipling's 'Jungle Book' had a contemporary counterpart, this would be it: an orphaned infant boy raised in a cemetery by the spirits of the deceased. This (comparative) vein alone makes this a good read, and the judges thought so too, as it won the Newbery Medal in 2009. ( )
1 vote MomsterBookworm | Jul 14, 2014 |
I really wanted to like this book. I've heard so much about Neil Gaiman, but it was too far out of my comfort zone. It is a YA book about a boy who lives in a Graveyard, raised by ghosts who protect him from the man who killed his parents. I just didn't like it, but I thought it was well-written. I will read more by Gaiman. ( )
1 vote Bridget770 | Jul 8, 2014 |
Bod's family was murdered by the man Jack when he was a baby. He escaped to a local graveyard where the ghosts take Bod in until he is 15. The man Jack is still trying to find Bod during the whole time he is living at the graveyard. During his stay at the graveyard, Bod learns a lot;his letters, numbers and how to stand up for himself which prepares him for his meeting with the man Jack when he is 15.
  ashleyann65 | Jun 30, 2014 |
I read this with my book club, so for my review, I’ll share some of our observations. Many of us, myself included, enjoyed the references to popular mythology, although some people didn’t notice all of them. I think we all generally felt that the book read like a bunch of short stories which had been pasted together but were a bit disjointed and the ending was quite abrupt. On the other hand, we all loved the writing and drawings, both of which I thought worked well together to capture the emotion of different scenes. Like in Gaiman’s talk, I felt as though every word was carefully chosen. I was struck by the creepiness of these scenes he described, but even that was overshadowed by the beauty of the writing. This was a very cool, unique middle grade book.

This review first published on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
A retelling of The Jungle Book set in an English graveyard. In the opening scene a toddlers entire family is murdered but he escapes into a graveyard where is adopted by the ghosts, ghouls and other inhabitants therein. He grows up learning their ways, befriending them, but always torn between them and an interest in the outside world -- and the company of living people. But among those living people are the person who murdered his family and is still trying to track him down.

At its best the book is excellent. But it can be a bit uneven, meandering, and more obvious in places. Overall, however, falling short of perfection is not an argument against reading this very imaginative book. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Originally posted at Read. Run. Study.

I liked the movie-adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and Coraline, but I had never read one of his novels. I have been trying to fix that for a while, and finally did when I picked up The Graveyard Book.

The first thing that struck me when I opened the book were the illustrations by Dave McKean. I loved the illustrations! They were lovely and dark, but not exactly scary – they just worked beautifully.

As for the story, The Graveyard Book is nothing if not unique. We are, after all, talking about a book that follows the development of a child as he is raised by the inhabitants of a graveyard. I didn’t know what to expect going into the book, and I’m glad for that so I’m not going to tell you much. Let’s just say I developed a little crush on Silas (Please someone tell me I’m not alone on that.) Gaiman’s writing is beautiful, even in a book targeted towards children. His command of language is simply impressive. Somehow, he leaves you with a book that is easy enough for a child to read and enjoy, yet speaks to an adult as well.

My first instinct upon finishing it was to give it 4 stars – I really enjoyed the story, but I felt as though it lacked something. As I’ve considered the story further, it has grown on me and now I’m torn. Do I leave it at 4 stars, or bump it to 5? I think the answer is to split the difference, and assure you that this will not be my last foray into Gaiman’s novels.

Rating: 4.5/5

As I was writing this review, I found video clips from The Graveyard Book Tour in which Neil Gaiman narrates each chapter of the book. The book, as narrated by Neil Gaiman, gets 5 stars. His narration finds what I couldn’t in the book which may simply be his accent and inflection. ( )
  readrunstudy | Jun 21, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book. Filled with fun, quirky, interesting characters, it tells the story of Bod Owens and his life in the graveyard. I'd definitely recommend it for an enjoyable, light read. Perfect for a summer on the patio to counteract the cold, foggy gloom of the graveyard. ( )
  mitchma | Jun 2, 2014 |
When a toddler wanders into the graveyard, the ghosts that reside there are thrown into an uproar. How can they possibly care for a living child? But Mr. and Mrs. Owens are adamant that they will take in the baby, whom they name Nobody (Bod for short). And so Bod grows up in the graveyard learning the basics of Fading and Dreamwalking while also remaining curious about the world outside the graveyard gates and the murders of his family that led him to the graveyard to begin with.

Gaiman's ability to write charming but spooky novels always delights me and The Graveyard Book was not a disappointment. The tales of Bod's life in the graveyard are by turns sweet and scary but always entertaining and I appreciated the episodic nature of the novel as it allowed Bod to grow up quickly over the course of the novel. I was thoroughly delighted by the slow reveal of the villain and found the overall concept very clever. Additionally, the illustrations by Dave McKean add an extra element of creepiness that enhances the atmosphere of the novel. And of course, being Neil Gaiman, there are also some truly beautiful sentences woven into the narrative that I found particularly moving. ( )
4 vote MickyFine | May 25, 2014 |
This one makes me really wish there were half stars!! 4.5 stars! ( )
  patsaintsfan | May 23, 2014 |
This one makes me really wish there were half stars!! 4.5 stars! ( )
  patsaintsfan | May 23, 2014 |
When I started reading this book i didn't really like it that much but when i started reading it more i got into the book.This book is about a baby boy,who is later named Bod Owens.He later starts growing up into a handsome young.But he soons find out that his entire family is dead.A man named JAck had killed his family long ago.Bod gains his own powers over the years.He has learned to Fade and DreamWalk.Basically what these are,are Fading is when u dissappear like a shadow,noone can see u.DreamWalks are when you can go into someones dream and make it into something else. Bod meets a girl named Scarlett. She later finds out that Bod is a really mysteryouis boy. She iS later in danger from the man who killed Bod's family is changing his name to Mr.Frost (Jack Frost).They both find out he is a really bad man and Bod has to try to defeat him. ( )
  tevins.b3 | Apr 22, 2014 |
Summary: This book follows the life of Nobody Owens (Bod for short). When his family was killed when he was a baby, he wandered out of his home to a graveyard, barely escaping the murderer coming for him. The ghosts of the graveyard adopt him, and until he leaves at fifteen years old, his life is spent learning he ways of the dead while trying to balance in the ways of the living.

Personal Reaction: I love Neil Gaiman. And I love this book. I love the certain level of creepiness and adventure Gaiman brings to Bod's life, and how Gaiman gives us a glimpse into his idea of the afterlife.

Classroom Extensions:
1. This could be used as an example of fantasy/horror. After a short lesson over characteristics of fantasy books, this could be read aloud book for the whole class. After each chapter, have students get into groups and discuss what elements of fantasy novels they saw and heard.

2. Have students draw their interpretation of Silas and Bod. What made them think the characters looked this way? Under the drawings, have students write their view on what each character's personality is and whether they liked the character or not and why. Compare everyone's drawings to show that a single character in a book can be interpreted many different ways,there is no one right way o see a character.
  ElissaBroadaway | Apr 21, 2014 |
I wanted to love this book. I really dove into it with some enthusiasm because I love Neil Gaiman and his support of childhood literacy and public libraries. But, maybe my expectations were a little too high.

I enjoyed it well enough, but I didn't love it.

The structure of the plot was jarring. Each chapter would jump through Bod's life a few years without any warning. It took time to adjust and figure out just where I was in the timeline.

I did enjoy Bod's life very much though. Not only did we get to see the struggles of a "normal" young boy, we also got to imagine how life would be to learn the lessons and hear the stories from people long ago gone.

The idea most dear to my heart was that of "Fading". Oh, how I would LOVE to fade! Sometimes I even feel like I do fade, I just slip into nonexistence for a while when I really don't want anyone to notice me.

There were so many things that I enjoyed about this book, I just wish the plot was presented a bit more smoothly. ( )
  katemiller1724 | Apr 17, 2014 |
3.5 stars ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
I liked it, but i kinda hoped it was more horror-ish ( )
  AmandaEmma | Mar 26, 2014 |
Nobody Owens, Bod for short, was just a normal kid until his family was killed. He was going to be murdered until he crawled to the graveyard.. He was adopted by two new people. They were not normal. They were ghosts. Bod grew up into a very smart boy, and was taught in the graveyard by other ghosts. His guardian, Silas, also taught him things. One day, he had to leave to obtain information, he had to travel. When Silas left, he kept Ms.Lupescu in charge of him. She was a strict, mean, and unforgiving. One evening after his lesson, Bod meets three new people. Ghouls. The ghouls take him along and plan to turn him into a ghoul. Bod realizes that he has done something terribly wrong, and he while they're sleeping, they have an intruder. A huge monster dog. A Hound of God. And that Hound of God can talk.. Bod sees that the monster is really Miss. Lupescu's true form. After that, he is saved. Another day, he goes to the apple tree, and he falls. He sprains his leg, but it is made slightly better from a witch. Her name is Liza Hempstock. He and Liza become friends. Bod knows that she doesn't have a headstone, and decides to buy one for her. He goes into the cave of the Sleer and takes the brooch. He sells it to a man's antique shop. The man locks him inside his little backroom, and steals the brooch. Liza finds Bod, and saves him, helping him Fade. The two escape and take the brooch. Bod paints Liza's intials on a large rock, and puts it as her headstone. Liza is pleased. ( )
  AmberM.B3 | Mar 21, 2014 |
This book was absolutly amazing! I loved the way it lulled it's readers into a trance until you couldn't put it down. I remember reading this book the first time and not understanding it. Later in my life when I found this book again I remembered that I had already read it and added that knowlege to the newer one. When I reread the book, everything became clearer the second time than it did the first. Many of my friends have agreed with me that this book was simply outstanding. I highly suggest this book to anyone that likes mystery, family, trust, adventure and isn't scared of the dark!

When Nobody "Bod" Owens's family is murdered his new parents are far from normal... They're ghosts in an old graveyard just up the hill from his home. When baby Bod wanders into the graveyard, the murderer, Jack, come chasing after him. Luckily the ghost people protect the living child and take him in as they're own. Bod grows up around the dead, prohibeted from leaving the graveyard, his guardian tells him stories of the outside and brings back books from his adventures. When Bod meets a girl, things get strange, even though he can slip through shadows, the girl's parents can't see him, thus dubbing their daughter's new friend as imaginary. When Bod runs into something called the Sleer, he has to use his wits to get out alive, and even then, he's not done with adventures in the graveyard. ( )
  KelsieH.G3 | Mar 18, 2014 |
Everyone's family is a little different. Some people have aunts and uncle. Some people have parents and grandparents. Some people have cousins and some people don't. However, Bod - short for Nobody - has ghosts. After the murder of his family Bod is adopted and raised by the ghosts of a nearby cemetery until it is revealed that his family's murder is still at large, and looking for him.

I have said it before and I'll say it again; I love Neil Gaiman. This is just another excellent example of how well he understand the inner mind of youth and young readers. Exploring this richly dark world, Gaiman weaves his special magic to create very memorable and endearing characters as well as a gripping story that is appropriate for younger readers with a love for all things dark and spooky. ( )
  abrial2433 | Mar 18, 2014 |
Toddling into a graveyard after the murder of his entire family, a baby is adopted by the otherworldly inhabitants. Nobody Owens, or Bod, is raised by ghosts, taught by lycanthropes, and protected by a mysterious guardian. The book is dark, and doesn't have a traditional happy ending, but it uses humor in a way that keeps the goings-on from becoming too macabre. His friendship with a normal human named Scarlett is realistic because it avoids romance and sentimentality, which also keeps it appropriate for younger readers. The violence and danger in the book are toned down, and the ending is satisfying without being grisly. The calligraphic ink drawings are well suited to the text and show the heaviness of the tombstones and crypts with thicker strokes,while using a much lighter touch for the ghosts. The experience of loneliness and being trapped between worlds will resound with tween and teen readers who are no longer children, but not quite adults. ( )
  Honanb | Mar 17, 2014 |
The first thing that grabs my attention in the first chapter are the illustrations. They are in black and white which gives the feeling of eeriness. The illustrations help set the theme of the story to come. The author writes in a third person narrative and at times uses a second person point of view. This helps put the reader in the scene and feel the situations and events. The author uses narrative to describe what is occurring chronologically. I like how the author uses vocabulary not typically used by the target readers of this book.
  jenniferflowers | Mar 16, 2014 |
Nobody Owens, also known as Bod, is living along with ghosts in a graveyard. He is being raised by ghosts since the age of infancy. He learns how to read and write from Silas a ghost from the past, who is the only ghost that explores in the night. Bod is able to learn how to fade by his fellow guardians and "parents". Bod meets a girl who is his age named Scarlet. Scarlet wants to know about Bod but Bod cannot seem to know much of his own information. Scarlet and Bod become good friends and rely on each other for learning also. But the question is, does Nobody Owens know what can happen in the real world and the world of death too? The dangers? The good and happy things?

I recommend this book for middle school students and maybe even some high school students as well. This book is super interesting and draws my attention from the start of the first page of the first chapter. I am actually currently reading this book in my language arts class. I believe Neil Gaiman has a good sense of imagination. The Graveyard Book draws so much attention from my everyday work it take both of my sisters to get me to come downstairs and eat dinner. This is probably the second book that has done this to me. If you have read Coraline by Neil Gaiman, you might enjoy this book also. A good sense of imagination is the key to a good reading. ( )
  NagisaR.B3 | Mar 13, 2014 |
Gaiman is a natural storyteller. His voice and enthusiasm help the reader become more involved with this story. Although more frightening than other children's books The Graveyard Book is better in audio book, almost like you're being told a creepy ghost story by a master storyteller. A great read and listen for kids as well as adult Gaiman fans.
  Tvickrey | Mar 11, 2014 |
Nobody Owens manages to escape the killer of his whole family as a baby. He is raised by ghosts and werewolves in a hillside cemetery. Nobody eventually wonders how he can live with the living by being around the dead all the time. Unfortunately he can’t leave the cemetery or Jack, the murderer, will come back for him and finish his job of murdering the entire family. This book is classic Neil Gaiman. Wonderful, imaginative, spooky and I fell for it immediately. A young audience will fall too not only for the spooky story but for the imagination of the story and the wonderful characters. ( )
  cfranson | Mar 9, 2014 |
Utterly irresistible ( )
  newnoz | Mar 3, 2014 |
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