The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

82%

35 Critic Reviews

The Graveyard Book is a delightful mix of fantasy and mystery that will entertain readers of all ages. Like the best fairy tales there are moments that are scary enough to make us worry about the fate of Nobody Owens, but there are an equal...of magical moments that transport us out of our world and make us forget our mundane reality.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

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

 

About Neil Gaiman

See more books from this Author
Neil Gaiman is the nationally bestselling author of The Graveyard Book, the only book ever to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie Medals. He lives near Minneapolis, MN. You can visit him online at www.mousecircus.com.Michael Reaves is an Emmy Award-winning television writer and novelist who has written, story-edited, or produced nearly four hundred teleplays for various series. He lives in California. You can visit him online at www.michaelreaves.com.
 
Published September 18, 2008 by HarperCollins. 325 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Comics & Graphic Novels. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Graveyard Book
All: 35 | Positive: 33 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Monica Edinger on Feb 13 2009

While “The Graveyard Book” will entertain people of all ages, it’s especially a tale for children. Gaiman’s remarkable cemetery is a place that children more than anyone would want to visit... In this novel of wonder, Neil Gaiman follows in the footsteps of long-ago storytellers, weaving a tale of unforgettable ­enchantment.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by AgentRedfort on Feb 17 2014

A book with many emotions to capture you, I struggle to describe it much! It could be a little boring at times, but it was definitely worth it.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Patrick Ness on Oct 25 2008

We are deep in Neil Gaiman territory here, and it's hard to think of a more delightful and scary place to spend 300 pages...Gaiman's narratives tend toward the episodic, and there are chapters of The Graveyard Book that could stand alone as discrete short stories. All the better for reading at bedtime...

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Dusty Hixenbaugh on Aug 27 2009

Fair or not, I complain that the first chapter is this novel's best. After that, the narrative heads downhill...Like I said, I liked the book...For a novel that opens with such a suspenseful bang!, Graveyard never evolves into a page-turner. That would have required unity...but — I'll say it again, just for good measure — I like the book...

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Richard Marcus on Nov 11 2008

The Graveyard Book is a delightful mix of fantasy and mystery that will entertain readers of all ages. Like the best fairy tales there are moments that are scary enough to make us worry about the fate of Nobody Owens, but there are an equal...of magical moments that transport us out of our world and make us forget our mundane reality.

Read Full Review of The Graveyard Book | See more reviews from Blog Critics

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Laurel Maury on Oct 17 2008

The premise for The Graveyard Book is macabre, but author Neil Gaiman has a strange ability to make otherworldly characters quaint — loveable, even — and the story is anything but grave. Children as young as 9 will enjoy this sweet, funny and gentle tale; adults will appreciate its deeper undertones.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Emily Neeves on Feb 17 2012

Its enjoyable to read as an adult because it transports you not only into a unique community of ghosts and ghouls, but to the time when your imagination used to run wild...If you like fantasy or coming of age stories, or are looking for a quick read that will leave you thinking, The Graveyard Book is certainly worth checking out.

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AV Club

Excellent
Reviewed by Zack Handlen on Oct 08 2008

For once, he seems as interested in enjoying his tale as he is in telling it, and that pleasure gives the book a timeless, effortless feel...The Graveyard Book lacks the scope of Gaiman's best-known efforts, but some stories don't need to be epic; they simply need to be.

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Suite 101

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Mcintosh on Sep 26 2009

The end suffers from the flaw of having a character fill in some important information by "telling it" rather than letting the reader experience it. But, once that is taken care of, the final pages are truly charming. Some reviewers have gushed over the illustrations. They're not quite up to gushing standard. However, they suit the story's mood...

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Pajiba

Good
Reviewed by Mr. Vlach on Jun 09 2009

The Graveyard Book is a beautifully written fantasy story, but this was especially exemplified in Chapter Five, "The Danse Macabre."...The Graveyard Book is definitely a title that would appeal to adults as well as children. It is darker than Coraline, and may not be appropriate for younger children, but would be recommended for fans of fantasy.

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Tor

Good
Reviewed by Bridget McGovern on Oct 07 2008

Neil Gaiman has once again deftly crafted a work which speaks without condescension to the experience of children—with all the future ahead of them, equally daunting and miraculous—and with sympathy and intelligence to those who will recognize with a certain bittersweetness some of their past in the triumphs and travails of Nobody Owens.

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Teen Reads

Good
Reviewed by Brian Farrey on Sep 30 2008

Many of the chapters stand alone as short stories, but every small adventure adds up to form a complete tale that feels timeless and important. And the climactic scene towards the end is not to be missed...in a word, exceptional. Gaiman remains a force to be reckoned with, no matter the intended audience, regardless of the subject matter.

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Common Sense Media

Good
Reviewed by Matt Berman on Sep 30 2008

It may seem odd to say it, but this is a lovely book. Suspenseful, yes, and a bit creepy, but lovely nonetheless...By adding a bit of heart and soul to his already brilliant writing, Gaiman has raised his game considerably.

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Scotsman.com

Good
on Oct 16 2008

Yes, it is fantastical, eerie, exciting and imaginative: but it is also emotionally affecting...Perhaps the most heartwarming aspect of this chilly and challenging yarn is that it makes desolate city graveyards appear almost – almost – homely.

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Boing Boing

Good
Reviewed by Cory Doctorow on Oct 10 2008

It's filled with compassion, mystery, wonder, humor (lots and lots and lots of humor), mythology, and a rich, dark, velvety spookiness that makes it especially lovely when read aloud...This is fine work, from beginning to end, and the best bedtime story read-aloud material I've encountered in a long time.

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http://childrensbooks.about.com

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Kendall on Oct 23 2015

The Graveyard Book is an unconventional coming of age tale about a young boy raised in most unusual circumstances who learns that love and happiness are not limited to the earth bound. Haunting, sweet, funny, suspenseful, and wise this is a story that will linger long in your thoughts. I highly recommend this book for readers 10-up.

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Escape Pod

Good
on Feb 12 2013

The novel is really more a series of stories chronicling Bod’s upbringing, from childhood to his school days and then into his teenage years. In that way, it’s very much a coming-of-age novel...If you haven’t read The Graveyard Book, now would be an excellent time to pick it up and take a look. You won’t be disappointed.

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OneMetal

Good
Reviewed by Mark Dryden on Dec 02 2009

The Graveyard Book is a wonderfully tender book that appeals as an easy read for adult readers, a fantastic book for reading to the young’uns and a potentially interesting entry level book for reluctant younger readers...it is a wonderfully encapsulated package that will have the reader tantalised at the very least.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by TJRoeds on Oct 24 2015

This book definitely is enjoyable to all ages, but the specific target audience is that of the younger kids, otherwise it is just a cute story...Highly recommended for anyone not looking for a challenge, but at the same time, looking for an enjoyable read.

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Fantasy Book Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Floresiensis on Mar 01 2012

Nearly every chapter is a self contained short story about an incident in Bod’s life. This makes it ideal for dipping into, and for reading at bedtime...The end of the novel is exciting and has a twist that this reader did not see coming...The writing style though easy enough for children, is very descriptive and distinctive.

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Fyrefly's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by fyrefly on Dec 08 2008

As a coming of age story, it was wonderful; Bod is pretty lovable, the cast of characters that surround him are colorful and add some interesting twists, and the message of the story is poignant and well-earned. As a horror/fantasy story, it’s also effective – Gaiman can write creepy like no one’s business...

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Of Books and Reading

Excellent
Reviewed by thehungryreader on Nov 20 2013

“The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman has it all – the elements of fantasy, which most of his other books also do possess. For me though, the storytelling of this one was beyond his other books...The plot is extremely tight and the read is a fast one for sure. The book I guess has no age barrier – it can be read by anyone, of any age...

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The Book Stop

Good
Reviewed by curlygeek04 on Mar 04 2012

The Graveyard Book is cool and spooky and touching all at the same time. I expected great things of Neil Gaiman and this one didn’t disappoint...But I will say this was a creative and satisfying fantasy read, and Bod is a likeable character...I would recommend this to any middle-schooler (or older).

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Booking in Heels

Good
Reviewed by Hanna W on Jul 29 2011

It reads as though Neil Gaiman had a really, really great time reading this book and that made me enjoy it all the more. It has a fast-paced plot that's completely unique and a wealth of great characters that just aren't present in many YA books. The atmosphere of the graveyard was absolutely wonderful...

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http://blogs.slj.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Bird on Aug 06 2008

And The Graveyard Book is one of the most emotionally honest books I’ve yet to have read this year. Smart and focused, touching and wry, it takes the story of a boy raised by ghosts and extends it beyond the restrictive borders of the setting. Great stuff...Highly recommended.

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Shelf Awareness

Excellent
Reviewed by twentybyjenny on May 01 2013

The cast of characters includes all manner of personalities from different eras, including an old Roman named Caius Pompeius, a tutor called Miss Lupescu with some strange and handy talents...This is, most of all, a coming-of-age tale, in which Bod tests the boundaries in order to become a young man.

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Speculiction

Above average
Reviewed by Jesse on Jun 21 2013

In the end, The Graveyard Book is for those who love the fantastical potential of the cemetery and are not scared of its quiet gravestones. A most unusual coming-of age, Bod’s story can be enjoyed by the young and old (like Coraline).

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Books 4 Your Kids

Good
Reviewed by Tanya on Oct 28 2009

...the book that follows is one of the best young adult books published in 2008 and the main character, Nobody Owens, is one of the most compelling, sweetly innocent, profoundly thoughtful young characters I have had the good luck to know through reading about. I loved every minute of his presence on the page...

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Nerdy Book Club

Good
Reviewed by FRANCES L. GONZALEZ-GARCIA on May 09 2013

This magical book is filled with rich scenery, strong characterization, mysteries and adventures. It entails elements of symbolism, imagery and allegory that brings forth the tales and truths of the author himself...Gaiman’s rich imagination and his ability to hold the key to storytelling makes him indeed a great storyteller!

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BooksPlease

Above average
Reviewed by Margaret on May 18 2014

The Graveyard Book is ultimately about life and death, love and friendship, loyalty and the fight between good and evil. There is humour, sadness and suspense. Above all it is about growing up and the excitement and expectations that Bod has about life...

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My Two Blessings

Excellent
Reviewed by Robin McCormack on Apr 24 2009

I thoroughly enjoyed "The Graveyard Book" and look forward to reading more stories by Neil Gaiman. His books are intriguing, imaginative and entertaining. Even though they are written for the 9 - 12 year old age group, they are enjoyable for adults to read as well. Highly Recommended.

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http://buffalorising.com

Above average
Reviewed by Buffalorising on Oct 31 2010

Nobody Owens (Bod for short) spends his childhood in the graveyard with the ghosts from many eras, and a guardian, a benevolent creature of the night who brings him food, clothes, and books from outside the graveyard...At times wistful and suspenseful, this is an enjoyable read for older children, young adults and adults.

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Craig Hallam

Good
Reviewed by Craig Hallam on May 26 2012

What I really liked (and again this is bias on my part) is how the novel is split up into seperate stories, often a year or two appart, so that you get to see Bod grow up and learn his lessons... Basically, an all-round good book, a satisfying read and intriguing hope-for-a-sequel premise. Good times.

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Kat Loves Books Blog

Above average
Reviewed by Kat Salazar on Mar 20 2012

I have to admit, I was not immediately taken. The first few chapters I liked, but then the story plateauedand...This is definitely a very noir-esque middle grade book and the main character goes from being rather listless and impressionable in the beginning, to more and more clever and admirable toward the middle and on through the end.

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SFW

Good
Reviewed by Gerard Wood on Nov 11 2008

The Graveyard Book is written with a beguiling simplicity and a premise that is classic Gaiman...Within the overall story arc that traces Nobody's childhood until his coming of age, each chapter is a self-contained story giving us his adventures from year to year...The Graveyard Book is a highly enjoyable read.

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Reader Rating for The Graveyard Book
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 2267 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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