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The Graveyard Book

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  499,806 ratings  ·  36,560 reviews
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard. But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod's family.
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Paperback, 289 pages
Published December 2008 by Bloomsbury (first published September 30th 2008)
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Dawn Absolutely loved him. Bod is actually one of my favorite Gaiman protags. He's a departure from the hapless, wimpy slackers that usually characterize h…moreAbsolutely loved him. Bod is actually one of my favorite Gaiman protags. He's a departure from the hapless, wimpy slackers that usually characterize his protagonists. Bod is tough, does what he needs to, and is utterly unapologetic about it while still being likable and sympathetic.(less)
Mommooshka As Gaiman said in his Newbery Medal acceptance speech for this book, he realized as he was writing the ending "I was now writing about being a parent,…moreAs Gaiman said in his Newbery Medal acceptance speech for this book, he realized as he was writing the ending "I was now writing about being a parent, and the fundamental most comical tragedy of parenthood: that if you do your job properly, if you, as a parent, raise your children well, they won't need you anymore. If you did it properly, they go away. And they have lives and they have families and they have futures."(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  499,806 ratings  ·  36,560 reviews


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Patrick
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Recently, on a car trip with my little boy, I decided to try listening to an audiobook.

In the past this hasn't been a success. He loves to be read to in person, both picture books and chapter books. But he not a fan of listening to books in the car. At best he's indifferent, but usually he just asks me to turn them off.

Generally speaking, he'd prefer to listen to Macklemore's Thrift Shop, which he calls "The Sway Music."

But he's four now, with a vocabulary that's diverse to the point of being
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Mark Lawrence
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this to Celyn but the 5* are from both of us. I think I probably enjoyed it more than she did in fact.

It's a fine book. I can see why it's done so well. The story is well structured, the brutal opening providing an orphan, a mystery, and an ongoing threat. Thereafter the book slowly cycles back around to its beginning and in the mean time raises our young Bod, equipping him with the skills to deal with his problem.

Bod's life in the graveyard is very interesting, with him learning various
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Jayson
(A-) 83% | Very Good
Notes: A bit too short, and the illustrations don't really work. Still, it's a fun, light and whimsical take on its macabre milieu.
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Miranda Reads
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
It takes a graveyard to raise a child

Nobody Owens (yes, that's his name) becomes orphaned at an early age when an unknown "Jack" murders his entire family.

What's surprising is that Nobody doesn't even notice - the kid is too excited that the house door is open and toddles off for adventure.

He ends up at the local graveyard. The local ghosts see Jack's intentions and decide to grant Nobody the Protection of the Graveyard.

A childless ghost couple adopts the toddler and a vampire becomes his guar
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Nataliya
It takes a graveyard to raise a child. This is a summary of this magical, sweet and imaginative story for children, which (in a good tradition of the Brothers Grimm) started with a triple homicide.
“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”
Neil Gaiman does not waste time with unicorns and princesses and butterflies which are often considered acceptable for children. He kicks off his book with the brutal murders of a child's entire family, written in a chilling tone
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Betsy
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve noticed that there’s been an increased interest in the macabre in children’s literature lately. Sometimes when I’ve had a glass or two of wine and I’m in a contemplative mood I try weaving together a postulation that ties the current love of violent movies into this rise in children’s literary darkness. Is the violence of the world today trickling down into our entertainment? Hogwash and poppycock and other words of scoff and denial, says sober I. But I’ve certainly seen a distinct rise in ...more
Ariel
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just don't think Neil Gaiman can write something I won't enjoy. His worlds are so rich and visceral, his characters so unique and loveable. I loved this story, loved Bod with all my heart, and was proud of him as he grew up. I listened to this audiobook, narrated by Neil Gaiman, and it was top notch. Can't wait for my next ...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a family is murdered by a mysterious killer, one of the intended victims is missing, a young, diapered boy, who had wandered off just before the crime took place. But the killer needed to complete the job. Fortunately for the boy, he was taken in by the late residents of a nearby graveyard. And when the spirit of his newly deceased mother asks for their help, the residents agree to raise her son. He is given to the care of the Owens couple and named “Nobody,” Bod for short, as he looks like ...more
Matthew
5+ Stars

Maybe the Gaiman curse is over for me because I loved this book.

As those who follow my reviews may know, I have been trying Gaiman for years without much luck. I could never really put my finger on it except for two things:

- Sometimes it felt like it was being artsy and weird in order to be cool and trendy
- Often the magic and supernatural happenings felt contrived and convenient. Fantasy is made up, but it should not feel like it is made up.

However, I did not encounter that at all with
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Rebecca (on a review writing break!)
“Fear is contagious. You can catch it. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to say that they're scared for the fear to become real.”

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 many adventures in the graveyard for a young boy, but if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in terrible danger, for the man Jack is looking f
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Spencer Orey
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For having such a sinister beginning and heavy life-and-death themes (it's the Jungle Book set in a graveyard), this book is a real joy to read. The graveyard magic is fantastic and grows in fun ways throughout the story, and the ghosts and creatures that inhabit this world make for a delightful cast of characters.

I loved a ton of things as I read, but one that especially stuck out to me was how Bod grows older but the ghosts remain their same ages. So with each time jump, he interacts very dif
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book is a children's fantasy novel by the English author Neil Gaiman, simultaneously published in Britain and America during 2008.

The Graveyard Book traces the story of the boy Nobody "Bod" Owens who is adopted and raised by the supernatural occupants of a graveyard after his family is brutally murdered.

The story begins as Jack (usually referred to in the novel as "the man Jack") murders most of the members of a family (later revealed to be the Dori
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Lyn
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When first reading Neil Gaiman’s wonderfully dark but playful fantasy The Graveyard Book, I instantly discovered that I liked it a lot. When I realized that The Graveyard Book was also Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, but updated to be gothic and macabre, with a boy not raised by wolves but ghosts, I loved it.

Winner of the Hugo Award in 2009, this is a rival to Gaiman’s masterpiece American Gods. This is vintage Gaiman at his masterfully fantastic best, an heir to the Grandmaster throne of Ra
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emma
Ho-ly shit. You guys!

https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...

I just managed to get through a book - a whole freaking book - with no blatant sexism, racism, homophobia, girl-on-girl hate, instances of the beloved not like other girls trope, love triangles, flat characters, overused archetypes, that plotline where you discover your power and it’s consuming you, gag-worthy romance, weird writing quirks, overwrought emotion, social issues used to make it seem ~profound~, apocalyptically bad characte
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Valerie
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This is how it usually goes with me and Neil Gaiman books:

Scene: at the library.
Picks up Stardust and reads back flap... thinks, "hey, this looks like a great book. What an interesting idea for a story..." When actually reading Stardust: bored.

A couple months later. At the library.
Picks up Neverwhere... thinks, "hmmm. This looks really interesting, but that's what I thought about Stardust. Well, maybe I'll give him one last chance." When actually reading Neverwhere: stupid last chances!!!

So I wa
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Jason Koivu
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
I've got a doctor's appointment scheduled for Monday. Maybe I'll ask what's wrong with me, I mean, why don't I love Neil Gaiman as much as everyone else?

After all the hype surrounding him, I finally gave in and started reading his books. Aside from his collection of short stories, Fragile Things, I haven't been as impressed as I expected to be.

The Graveyard Book in particular I found to be slow moving and depressing. Maybe that's inevitable being that most of the characters in it are dead. It'
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Fabian
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The riproaring adventures of Huck Finn's wiser half-brother; Harry Potter's long lost second cousin. A Mowgli doppleganger, admittedly so.

When Tim Burton died*, the void was taken up, wholly, by Mr. Gaiman. When will "The Graveyard Book" become a film? Cannot wait to watch singin'/dancin' ghosts, not the usual rerecycled shit from some Disney classic. Hey, it worked like a charm with "Coraline"!

*career-wise & art-wise
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Baba
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: darkfantasy
Award winning children's / fantasy book, and without doubt the best Gaiman I've read, and I'm very far from a fan of his.

Nobody Owens' family are brutally slain in a graveyard; he is the only survivor and ends up being brought up by, and amongst, the supernatural dwellers of the graveyard. A book that gets better and better as it progresses with a charming constructed reality that sits alongside a conventional reality.

On this book alone, I've decided to try more Gaiman after giving up on his wo
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Meredith
**SPOILER ALERT**

This book was entirely mediocre. The plot was disjointed and very loosely woven throughout the story, and much of it didn't make any sense. Details (what few details there were) seemed to be added at the last minute to make later events in the story make sense. It's almost as if Gaiman wrote the middle first, then the beginning, and then the end. I think he had a million ideas floating around in his head and had no idea how to connect them all, so he made up some stuff on the fl
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Adina
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sf
The Graveyard Book is my 3rd Gaiman so I can now say I am a fan. I even follow him on Facebook, the only author that has this privilege.

I was a bit skeptical before I started because I wasn’t sure he can pull of a children’s novel set in a graveyard without scaring the shit out of the little ones. I shouldn’t have worried. The book managed to be light and fun despite its beginning. A family is murdered by a strange man named Jack and the only survivor, a 1 year old toddler, runs away in a grave
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megs_bookrack
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SPOOKY MIDDLE GRADE BOOK RECOMMENDATION



I read The Graveyard Book a while ago and still find myself thinking about it. It is quirky and creepy, two things we know I love.

If you happen to be in a spooky mood, but maybe aren't into really scary books, this may be a great option for you.



Set in a cemetery, the atmosphere will definitely give you all the goosebumps you need for a cold, misty night, without causing significant trauma.



Interesting and unique from start to finish, I would highly re
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Julie G ("Doctor, my eyes!"  Offline for a week)
A friend of mine had an extra ticket to see Neil Gaiman's sold-out lecture in Denver last week, so we rode the bus downtown, walked a block or two, then turned a street corner, only to be startled by some 2,000 fervent fans wrapped around and around the building, shivering and salivating at the prospect of entering the doors.

I was in awe of their devotion, and I felt like an imposter, too. I'd never read anything of Neil's, other than an illustrated picture book for kids, and if these thirty-som
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Swrp
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
"People want to forget the impossible. It makes their world safer."

Once you are inside this world, it hard to think of any other delightful place other than a graveyard, to spend your time... and maybe life!

This book is interesting and so well written... will have to finish it once you start... In fact, some of the chapters can be read as separate short stories!

Yes, there is death in The Graveyard Book - and the message is clear :: make friends with death and live your life!

The Graveyard Book h
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mark monday
Once there was a little girl who lived in a big house in a strange and wonderful city in the North. Her name: Dove Black*. An unusual name for an unusual girl. Her equally unusual mother took her away for the summer, across the sea. I came to that strange and wonderful city and stayed in that big house. In the house was a book. The Graveyard Book! I fell prey to an odd illness during my visit; while my companions made merry in the streets and taverns of that city, I recovered on the wide and sun ...more
Beata
May 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bod Owens lives in a graveyard. Now, this is the idea for a superb story, and Mr Gaiman knows how to execute it to the full.
I was sucked in from the very beginning, and loved Bod who is a sweet an intelligent child. For him, the interactions with the departed are as natural as they can be. He has guardians, ghostly friends and even a teacher so it seems there is no need for the world outside the gate. And there is a mystery that surrounds him which opens the novel that gave me shivers.

My secon
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Nicole
Jul 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2021, best-of-2021, ya
This book was awesome. My favorite Gaiman so far without a doubt. He truly works magic in his books and his imagination is vast and well, takes you to another world! I'm not sure if i'm going to review this one, depends on whether I'm going to have time later. But if didn't particularly like American Gods like me (it was meh), you should definitely give this book a chance, it's so much better! I bought Ocean at the end of the Day immediately when I finished this one.. ...more
Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️
4 Stars

My reading has been all over the place lately. I have been reading a lot of adult fantasy, YA fantasy, and just straight up middle grade books...and very little romance. For whatever reason, that is just what I have felt like reading.

This was a cute, if creepy, little book. It was for me what I expected The Little Prince to be, but alas, wasn't. I really liked Bod and all the characters of the graveyard, especially Silas. I also enjoyed Gaiman's writing style - which is a good thing, sin
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Calista
Updated Review:
This is the first story I read by Neil Gaiman and it pretty much made me a life-long fan. I have done my best to read Gaiman's whole catalog and I'm getting close. It's a vast ocean of stories. Neil has a very unique voice that as soon as you start a story of his, you know it's his pen. He can be gross, humorous, scary and all the rest inbetween.

It might be strange, but I was hooked finding out the main characters name is Nobody. Different and not the usual story. We see a group
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Maggie Stiefvater
I have just this moment closed the cover of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, after loitering rather longingly over the acknowledgments and possibly the back jacket flap as well.

I don't think I can manage a proper synopsis or review of this book -- about an orphaned boy who is raised by a graveyard of ghosts -- so I think I will just have to say that I love it very, very deeply. For so long I refused to pick it up because I thought it sounded quaint and possibly twee, but it was neither. It pushed all the but
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Bionic Jean
"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately."

A chilling first line. And what follows is a thrilling, nerve-jangling episode from the master story teller Neil Gaiman. His imagination knows no bounds. I will not reveal the details, even though this is the very start of the book, and if you read the blurb it will tell yo
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