The Graveyard Book, Paperback Book

The Graveyard Book Paperback

Illustrated by Chris Riddell

4.5 out of 5 (8 ratings)


When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard?

Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead.

But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family.

A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence.

Will Bod survive to be a man?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages, Illustrations
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Horror & ghost
  • ISBN: 9780747594802

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Showing 1 - 5 of 8 reviews.

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Review by

As always Mr. Gaiman takes us to an interesting, usually unique world. In this case the Jacks are bad guys, Jack Frost, Jack Ketch, every man Jack of them! Bod is the toddler that escapes an attack by one of the Jacks by toddling into the graveyard and being adopted by a couple of ghosts, and tended by various creatures including a werewolf as well as the ghost of a witch and much more.He has his adventures within the graveyard and occasionally outside it too. He makes friends, and eventually works to defeat the Jacks. But, and in a wonderfully handled and surprising way, his actions are not without consequence.Brilliant.The pictures at the start of each chapter are a delight too.

Review by

Neil Gaiman returns to young adult publishing with The Graveyard Book, the story of a young boy, the only survivor in a murdered family, who is raised by the ghosts inhabiting the local, abandoned graveyard. Nobody "Bod" Owens is given the "Freedom of the Graveyard", meaning, though he is still very much alive, he has the powers of the ghosts - he can pass through solid objects, haunt living persons, disappear from sight and see in pitch darkness. The ghosts and some supernatural friends (vampire, witch, werewolf) raise Bod, educate him in the ways of the dead and attempt to educate him in the ways of the living, though this can be difficult when the teacher himself is 300 years dead and has missed anything that's happened in the world since then.As with much of Gaiman's young adult output (Coraline, Stardust), moral messages are delivered in a fun way. Bod gets in and out of trouble, depending on how well he obeyed his guardians and learns more about himself than he thought possible. Dramatic tension is provided by the league of assassins who want to complete their mission to eradicate Bod's family by killing him.The storytelling is brisk and the plot episodic in nature. One can't but help envisioning this as a movie with elements of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events.

Review by

My first Gaiman novel (I've read some short stories) and I wasn't sure what to expect. However I really enjoyed The Graveyard Book, it was well written and I didn't find myself getting at all fed up with the characters or feeling that the plot was very thin. I will be reading more Gaiman books for sure.

Review by

Read this as part of the Carnegie shadowing. Enjoyed it more as the book progressed and Nobody Owens began to develop a personality. Not sure why the judges shortlisted it though as it's not particularly memorable except for the fact that Nobody is brought up by ghosts in a graveyard. The ending is also rather unsatisfactory as the reader doesn't find out why Nobody is such a threat to the Jacks of All Trades. Perhaps there's a sequel looming?

Review by

Delightful children's story about a young boy named Nobody who is brought up by ghosts in a graveyard after his family is murdered. Kept safe by Mr and Mrs Owens, his adoptive parents, and the mysterious Silas, his guardian, Bod learns all the ghostly tricks of the dead, like Fading and Dreamwalking, but all too soon the living world proves too great a temptation to resist. A witty, intelligent and magical tale for all ages.

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