Sunday, October 21, 2012

REVIEW: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I offer this review of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book for any readers of my blog who have been avoiding my read-along discussion posts in order to avoid spoilers.

The Graveyard Book is a middle grade book about a little boy whose family was brutally murdered in their home by a man named Jack. This little boy narrowly escaped the same fate as he toddled out of his house that night and into the graveyard that would become his sanctuary. The dead in the graveyard hide and protect the little boy from the murderer and decide to raise him within the safety of the graveyard. The ghosts of Mr. and Mrs. Owens adopt the little boy and name him Nobody Owens, Bod for short. A mysterious man named Silas, who is neither living nor dead, becomes Bod's guardian, for he can leave the graveyard for the food, books and other necessities for Bod. Each chapter of book is a short tale of its own, showing important experiences in Bod's life. He gets into all sorts of trouble and manages to dig himself out by his own wits or with the help of his friends from the graveyard.

Despite The Graveyard Book's rather grim beginning involving the gruesome murders of an innocent family, the story is actually a very lovely, albeit bittersweet, coming of age story of young Nobody Owens. Bod has spent his young life treading the line between the worlds of the living and the dead--a life very different from that of a typical human boy, yet still, Bod has grown up to be a thoughtful, brave and generous soul.

The Graveyard Book is a bit dark, but loaded with wonderful little life lessons guaranteed to captivate children and adult audiences alike. Every chapter is a different adventure for Bod, and it's rewarding to see each new experience shape him into a brave, resourceful and kind young man. I would have liked to know more about why Bod and his family were targeted by the man named Jack. I think that was an important question in this book that, to my disappointment, was never fully addressed. Despite this little hole of knowledge, however, The Graveyard Book is still a wonderful, unique tale that shouldn't be missed.

There are some wonderful passages in the last few pages of The Graveyard Book. These are quotes I so desperately want to post here, but they are best discovered on your own. So take my advice and read this book yourself!

I gave The Graveyard Book 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads.



  1. It does sound a little dark but I'm glad it was more to it than just the darkness at the beginning.
    I think they actually sell this book here in my country so I'm gonna try to check it out :D

  2. I really liked this one. Good review.

  3. I remember really liking this book although being a bit confused about the targeting of Bod's family as you pointed out. I just had some unanswered questions at the end and that left me a little disappointed. But it was a fun read (perfect for October)!

  4. I may have to check this one out because of your review.

  5. Nice review...I love a good mystery!

  6. Thank you all for checking out my review. I hope those of you who haven't yet read it decide to give it a go.


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