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The Graveyard Book [Paperback]

Neil Gaiman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 20 2010

In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Bod 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 ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.

Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are being such as ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other.

The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal and is a Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

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The Graveyard Book + The Ocean At The End Of The Lane: A Novel
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“THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, by turns exciting and witty, sinister and tender, shows Gaiman at the top of his form. In this novel of wonder, Neil Gaiman follows in the footsteps of long-ago storytellers, weaving a tale of unforgettable enchantment.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Like a bite of dark Halloween chocolate, this novel proves rich, bittersweet and very satisfying.” (Washington Post)

“Wistful, witty, wise—and creepy. This needs to be read by anyone who is or has ever been a child.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“This is an utterly captivating tale that is cleverly told through an entertaining cast of ghostly characters. There is plenty of darkness, but the novel’s ultimate message is strong and life affirming….this is a rich story with broad appeal. ” (Booklist (starred review))

“Lucid, evocative prose and dark fairy-tale motifs imbue the story with a dreamlike quality. …this ghost-story-cum-coming-of-age-novel as readable as it is accomplished.” (Horn Book (starred review))

“This is, quite frankly, the best book Neil Gaiman has ever written. How he has managed to combine fascinating, friendly, frightening and fearsome in one fantasy I shall never know, but he has pulled it off magnificently - perfect for Halloween and any other time of the year.” (Diana Wynne Jones, author of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci)

“I wish my younger self could have had the opportunity to read and re-read this wonderful book, and my older self wishes that I had written it.” (Garth Nix, author of The Abhorsen Trilogy)

“It takes a graveyard to raise a child. My favorite thing about this book was watching Bod grow up in his fine crumbly graveyard with his dead and living friends. The Graveyard Book is another surprising and terrific book from Neil Gaiman.” (Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife)

“After finishing The Graveyard Book, I had only one thought — I hope there’s more. I want to see more of the adventures of Nobody Owens, and there is no higher praise for a book.” (Laurell K. Hamilton, author of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels)

“The Graveyard Book is endlessly inventive, masterfully told and, like Bod himself, too clever to fit into only one place. This is a book for everyone. You will love it to death.” (Holly Black, co–creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles)

“The Graveyard Book manages the remarkable feat of playing delightful jazz riffs on Kipling’s classic Jungle Books. One might call this book a small jewel, but in fact it’s much bigger within than it looks from the outside.” (Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn)

The Graveyard Book is everything everyone loves about Neil Gaiman, only multiplied many times over, a novel that showcases his effortless feel for narrative, his flawless instincts for suspense, and above all, his dark, almost silky sense of humor. (Joe Hill, author of Heart–Shaped Box)

From the Back Cover

It takes a graveyard to raise a child.

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It takes a graveyard Oct. 9 2008
Imagine Rudyard Kipling's "Jungle Book"... but replace the animals with ghosts, ghouls, werewolves and other such supernatural creatures.

Such is the concept of "The Graveyard Book," which cleverly turns Kipling's classic story into an exquisitely-written, darkly witty fantasy. While it starts as the assorted supernatural adventures of a young boy raised by ghosts, the story slowly evolves into a beautifully ghastly confrontation between Nobody Owens and the people who want to do him harm.

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife." A man named Jack kills an innocent family at night -- except for a baby boy, who toddles out to the graveyard.

With the approval of the Lady on the Grey, the Owens ghosts adopt the boy, whom they name Nobody (or "Bod" for short), and the mysterious not-dead-or-alive Silas is appointed his guardian. Bod slowly grows up, but his upbringing is hardly ordinary -- he is taught by a Hound of God, wanders into the horrific realm of Ghulheim, watches a danse macabre, and befriends a witch's spirit from the Potter's Field.

But the man named Jack is still out there, and for some reason he (and the organization he works for) still wants to kill Bod. And though Silas and the ghosts are trying to keep him safe, Bod is becoming curious about the world of living humans -- and about the man who murdered his family. And when they come for him, he'll be ready.

The world of Neil Gaiman is never a safe place -- it's always painted in shadows and shades of grey, and something horrible may be lurking around the corner.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gaiman is a great story-teller! Nov. 15 2012
By Darlene TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This book has won a ton of literary awards, including: Hugo Award for Best Novel (2009), Newbery Medal (2009), Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel (2009), World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Children's Literature (2009), Cybils Award for Middle Grade Fantasy & Science Fiction (2008), Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year (2009), An ALA Notable Children's Book for Middle Readers (2009), ALA Teens' Top Ten (2009), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award Nominee (2009), Indies Choice Book Award for Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book (Fiction): (2009), Carnegie Medal in Literature (2010), and British Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009).

The Graveyard Book is a fun read, with a dash of creepiness thrown in! It's a bit of a dark tale and it sounds horrid, but there is no graphic violence. The book is rated suitable for ages 12 and up.

At the outset of the book, we learn that a man named Jack has killed a family trio: Mom, dad, and their daughter. However, the baby manages to escape from his crib and slide down the stairs on his bottom and toddle out the front door. The baby makes his way up the hill to the cemetery, and a ghostly couple named Mr. and Mistress Owens finds him asleep on the ground. They hear the man named Jack banging on the cemetery gates, trying to get in. The child's parents, now ghosts themselves, beg Mr. and Mistress Owens to protect their baby. The couple never had children of their own, and Mistress Owens is thrilled to raise the child that she never had herself. The child is raised by Mr. and Mistress Owen in the graveyard, but his guardian is Silas who is a member of the Honour Guard that protects both the living and the dead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jewel waiting to be discovered Jan. 5 2009
I can add no more to EA Solinas' wonderful review of The Graveyard Book. I sought it out after hearing it praised by bookshop owners on CBC Radio. I was not disappointed. This book's adroit handling of sensitive subject matter (the mysterious murder of a sleeping family)and well fleshed characterization make it one of the best reads I have had in months. Particularly notable in that it is juvenile fiction. Engrossing and highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Classic April 20 2009
By Peter Cantelon TOP 500 REVIEWER
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is an honest book. It is that rare book that tells the truth about living in a way that continues to draw you deeper and deeper into the characters and the story till you don't want to put it down. The book was awarded the prestigeous John Newbery Medal for the most Distinguised Contribution to American Literature for Children and for good reason - it really is an amazing work.

The book tells the story of Nobody 'Bod' Owens, a boy raised his entire life in a graveyard by it's ghostly inhabitants. There are Mr. & Mrs. Owens, who never had a child in life and now have the opportunity to raise orphaned Bod. There is Silas, the quiet, stoic guardian who comes only at night and walks the world between the living and the dead. He helps with the acquisition of food and books and other items necessary for survival. There are many others as well.

Ultimately The Graveyard Book uses the dead to teach us the value (and sometimes the very real dangers) of life. As one of Bod's ghostly friends says "Us in the graveyard, we wants you to stay alive. We wants you to surprise us, and disappoint us and impress us and amaze us."

I had to read the acknowledgements at the end of the book before I realized that The Graveyard Book is really a modern take on the children's classic by Rudyard Kipling - The Jungle Book. This is no fault of Gaiman's but my own thickheadedness for all I needed was a quick glance at Kipling's title for the similarities to come rushing in.

Maybe one of the best compliments I can pay to this book is that I didn't want it to end. Gaiman is true to his material. The book does not end the way I want it to but it ends the way it must - and still exceptionally satisfying. I hope to see more tales like this.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent storytelling, must read
Published 6 days ago by Marc Miville
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 1 month ago by Claudia
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and warm in the right measures
I loved the Graveyard book. It is well written, witty, imaginative and full of feelings and simple truths of life, despite the most unlikely setting. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Caroline
4.0 out of 5 stars Our first Gaimen
I purchased this book to read to my son who dislikes reading himself. It's a challenge to find a novel that he loves, that I will also enjoy reading aloud. Read more
Published 11 months ago by justtracey
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read
I don't read a lot of fiction and I would never normally read this type of book, but being familiar with Gaiman's work in the Vertigo Comic "Sandman" I thought I would give... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars On my list of favorites
If you go into this book expecting it to be exactly what it is - a spooky book for kids and young teens - then you will not be disappointed. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book.
So glad I just discovered a new author (to me). The Graveyard Book is stunning, full of imagination & emotion. Love the story & the characters. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Sandra Casey
5.0 out of 5 stars A completely entertaining read from start to end
I am a fan of Neil Gaiman, and this book is one of his best. Excellent characters, interesting story. It could even lead into further stories about Bod.
Published 16 months ago by Arthur R. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars This was recommend by a Friend....what a great Friend
Neil Gaiman
what a great story teller
i could not put this book down
why it has not been made into a movie
is beyond me. Read more
Published 18 months ago by TONY O
4.0 out of 5 stars Gaiman's Graveyard has good bones
This book feels a little like a series of short stories about one boy growing up. The stories are all excellent on their own and together they form a quilt of wonder that wrapped... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
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