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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
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.
A real page-turner! I really liked his use of the 33rd president of the USA as a ghoul; you have to look him up, Gaiman never says who and why.
Wonderfully voiced by a cast of characters you will grow to love! So glad I had the audio version instead of just reading the book (during COVID-19)! Nearly completes my goal of reading all the Newbery Medal winners from beginning to present!
Really fun and creative. No one combines creepy and endearing and a sense of humor like Neil Gaiman.
My first Gaiman book read, and it has spoiled me for all other Gaiman. I have read this yearly since my first read, listened to Gaiman narrate and now the cast of narrators. I own it in hardback and Kindle. This book is perfect and will be with me always.
This book has it all: a murder, an orphan, a cemetery which is home to all kinds of ghosts and goblins, and lots of spirits from the past who are willing to help Bod, the orphan boy, live in both worlds-the real and the beyond. There is a mystery and a lot of wisdom in this gem. You wont be disappointed.
This was a very interesting and unique story. Gaiman's style of writing is very descriptive, and that was very effective in helping me visualize the world. I loved how each chapter has its own introduction and conclusion because it made it easier to find time to read. I made connections between the Graveyard Book and the Jungle Book, as a young boy is thrust into the care of the most unlikely family. Like those jungle animals, the ghosts and ghouls that raise Bod have interesting perspectives on life and human nature. The horror aspects were very captivating, as I would expect from Neil Gaiman. Reading the inciting incident in the first chapter was very scary, and the tragedy reminded me of Harry Potter. Similarly to Harry, Bod undergoes magical training and learns fantastical skills in a way that is very entertaining to follow. My only criticism of The Graveyard Book is that it left some of my questions unanswered at the end, but perhaps Gaiman's intent was to stimulate imagination, not provide a conclusion. After all, we only follow Bod's life until he is a teenager, so I can only imagine where the rest of his life (and death) will take him. Overall, I would recommend The Graveyard Book to anyone who enjoys dark themes and mysterious characters. Rating: 4/5
@outdoorsman14 of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board
I enjoy all of Neil Gaiman's books and this one is no exception. I like the atmosphere and the mystery surrounding it. It is an interesting look at ghosts and the way they inhabit this world.
This eerie supernatural story follows a young human boy called Nobody Owens as he is raised by ghosts in a graveyard after the murder of his parents. A clever reimagining of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book".
I think this book is going to stick with me for a long time. It was written with a young audience in mind, but it's also a perfect novel that is more dense than its 300 pages let on. Equal parts gothic folktale and mysterious neo-noir, the ancient feel juxtaposed with a story set in modern times is something I hadn't come across before reading this. Slow development of sparse characterizations and an awesomely three-dimensional setting reel the reader into an enchanting world that is hard to leave once the last page has been read. I recommend The Graveyard Book to anyone with (or without) a pulse who enjoys a good story.
This is a fantastic story that I highly recommend to everyone, it's a great supernatural twist on The Jungle Book and is perfect for all ages.
As someone who has never read The Jungle Book, I did not pick up on the parallels until they were pointed out for me, but this is a great book for children. It is also superb in audio format.
One of my very favourite of Neil Gaiman's books! A fantastic re-telling of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book"---set in a Graveyard, rather than the Jungle! Follow Nobody Owens through his graveyard home and adventures and the mystery of his life beyond the Graveyard!
A story that mixes childhood and the macabre, The Graveyard Book tells the story of a boy raised by the ghosts of a small-town cemetery. This book is a wonderful example of realistic fiction, perfect for readers of any age, as long as they can handle a ghost story. It provides a nuanced twist to the traditional orphan-hero story, while allowing the reader to fall in love with the cross-generation inhabitants of the graveyard. You may read this book expecting monsters to be evil, and ghosts to be scary, though you may find out, you don’t know Jack.
I really enjoyed this one. There exists settings and characters that may seem grotesque, but the author has a way of letting his readers see it as just another thing. Everything human in the "world outside" becomes frightening. As with a couple other comments, I agree that the build-up towards the end is all worth it - don't just skim away and read it. Save it. The life potential topic within the story is very real. I'm amazed as to what you can find in a children's library nowadays.
A book is good when you finished reading it quickly within a couple of days. But a book is great when after falling in love with the main character you are sad to see him leave you. Nobody Owens is one of those characters who leave you wondering. Wondering about life, people, and whether you lived life to its fullest. One of my favorite quotes is near the end of the story and is said by Liza, "Truly, life is wasted on the living, Nobody Owens. For one of us is too foolish to live, and it is not I. Say you will miss me." ("The Graveyard Book", by Neil Gaiman)
This story is beautifully written and poetic to the end. It is obvious why this book won the Newberry Award. Literature is not dead and found in "The Graveyard Book".
Wanna read a book with a great, unique story line? This is your book! An 18 month old baby escapes the clutches of a bad man named Jack & finds safety & a new family in the nearby graveyard. With the help of the entire graveyard community, young Bod (short for Nobody) receives the same education that you & I received in our youth. He may have learned a few "other" lessons as well. Cute, warm, & even a little odd, this is a fun story. Due to the fact that Bod lives with dead people, there are some spirit/ghost elements to the story (non-scary). My age recommendation below is based on this fact.
Age recommendation: 14 & over
On a scale of 1 - 10 stars, I give it 8.
I had read this years ago and liked it then (and still do on re-reading) but recently I read the graphic novel version, and liked it MUCH more. I never did like the original illustrations (David MacKean) and now that I have something to compare it to, I REALLY don't like them.
Nevertheless I recommend this story as a skillfully executed and cleverly imagined story of what it would be like for a live baby to be brought up by ghosts in a graveyard, get educated and introduced to the living world, confront evil and go on to live an independent adult life.
But if you like graphic novels, go there instead.
Compelling read from beginning to end, very quirky and different, sorrowful atmosphere bursting with emotion- very worth the time.
The full cast audio is a fun way to listen to this creative story!
Though I found Bod to be a rather lackluster protagonist and the plot in great need of better organization, this was still a fun enough read to be worth the time. Gaiman, as always, is a wonderfully imaginative writer with a very unique and enjoyable sense of humor, and a very talented reader of audiobooks. I will listen to nearly any book Neil Gaiman wants to lend his voice to.
Though I found Bod to be a rather lackluster protagonist and the plot in great need of better organization, this was still a fun enough read to be worth the time. Gaiman, as always, is a wonderfully imaginative writer with a very unique and enjoyable sense of humor.