Book Review: The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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

─ Neil Gaiman


“But between now and then, there was Life; and Bod walked into it with his eyes and heart wide open.

─ Neil Gaiman


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Book Information

Title: The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher: Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, New York

ISBN 978-0-06-053094-5

Genre: YA Fiction, Supernatural

Ages: 10+

307 pages


Book Summary:

Nobody Owens, known by Bod is a normal boy. Well as normal as a boy who lives in a graveyard being raised by ghosts can be. The graveyard and it’s inhabitants protect Bod from Jack who wants to kill Bod.

Within the graveyard Bod experiences many different adventures involving the ancient Sleer, ghouls, and even a Hound of God. Even during these many adventures, the graveyard protected Bod. Outside the gates of the graveyard danger lurks, Jack is searching and waiting for Bod to finish what he started that night so many years ago.


Book Rating   3.5/5

The Graveyard Book is the story about a seemingly ordinary boy. Nobody Owens, known as Bod has live in the graveyard since he crawled in when he was a baby. One terrible night a man known as Jack murdered Bod’s entire family and planned on killing Bod too. But Bod crawled away, up the hill from his house into the graveyard where the resident ghosts took on the responsibility of raising Bod.

For Bod his life seemed normal enough. His parents, teachers, and playmates were ghosts. His guardian was a being not living, but not dead either. When his guardian was away a Hound of God looked after him. Bod learned to read using the gravestones. In addition to learning reading and writing, Bod learned how to fade, and slip through walls.

Within the confines of the graveyard Bod was protected and safe from Jack. Outside of the graveyard Bod was vulnerable, the ghosts couldn’t follow him. As Bod gets older, he wants to experience life and the world outside of the graveyard. Jack finds him and returns to finish what he started that terrible night. This time Bod is prepared and using the skills the graveyard has taught him he battles Jack on his own terms.

I liked the way Gaiman wove a world of wonder within the graveyard seen through the curious and adventurous eyes of a child. Gaiman introduced the scary things in the imagination and real world and showed how a child’s life prepares them to face those fears on their own.

My only complaint would be that there were interesting characters that made you curious to known more of their story as well. Perhaps room for a sequel. As far as I know there are no sequels or spin-offs to The Graveyard Book.

The copy of The Graveyard Book that I purchased did contain bonus content as the 10th Anniversary edition of the Newbery Medal acceptance speech, the story behind The Graveyard Book and images of the original handwritten pages of the book.

To find more information about Neil Gaiman, his books, and book tours visit his site:

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