The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman REVIEW

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Published by Bloomsbury
Published 2 November 2009 (first published 30 September 2008)
304 pages
Digital library book

Author Website


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 timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade.

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 things like ghouls that aren’t really one thing or the other.

This chilling tale is Neil Gaiman’s first full-length novel for middle-grade readers since the internationally bestselling and universally acclaimed Coraline.


There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.


I adored The Graveyard Book. For a children’s book it’s quite scary and chilling. The book opens with a triple homicide after which the only surviving member of the family is adopted by a sweet ghost couple in a nearby graveyard. The murder scene is written in a chilling tone that made my flesh crawl. I loved the idea of Bod being raised in a graveyard and learning the ways of being a ghost including learning to fade and learning to open a ghoul-gate. At moment, Bod’s life seems almost normal; he plays, he reads, receives private tuition and makes friend. It just happens that he plays among graves, learns to read from reading headstones, is tutored by a werewolf and befriends the ghost of a young witch burned at the stake. Bod even enjoys a stint at school and thanks to his witchy friend people seems to forget he exists – until he stands up to some bullies and school becomes a dangerous place. Gaiman doesn’t bother with pretty butterflies and unicorns that can be found in most children’s fiction. The Graveyard Book will appeal to children and adults and perfectly balances sweetness and creepiness. The ending brought a little lump to my throat. Bod is a great character for children’s fiction –smart, resourceful, quiet, observant, loyal, brave, mischievous and very real. I loved The Graveyard Book and would highly recommend it




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