Winner of the 2009 Newbery Medal
Winner of The Hugo Award 2009
Synopses & 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 sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.
There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy — an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.
But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack — who has already killed Bod's family...
Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times-bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.
"A lavish middle-grade novel, Gaiman's first since Coraline, this gothic fantasy almost lives up to its extravagant advance billing. The opening is enthralling: 'There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.' Evading the murderer who kills the rest of his family, a child roughly 18 months old climbs out of his crib, bumps his bottom down a steep stairway, walks out the open door and crosses the street into the cemetery opposite, where ghosts take him in. What mystery/horror/suspense reader could stop here, especially with Gaiman's talent for storytelling? The author riffs on the Jungle Book, folklore, nursery rhymes and history; he tosses in werewolves and hints at vampires and he makes these figures seem like metaphors for transitions in childhood and youth. As the boy, called Nobody or Bod, grows up, the killer still stalking him, there are slack moments and some repetition not enough to spoil a reader's pleasure, but noticeable all the same. When the chilling moments do come, they are as genuinely frightening as only Gaiman can make them, and redeem any shortcomings. Ages 10up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Wistful, witty, wise — and creepy. Gaiman's riff on Kipling's Mowgli stories never falters, from the truly spine-tingling opening...to the melancholy, life-affirming ending....[T]his needs to be read by anyone who is or has ever been a child." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"This is an utterly captivating tale that is cleverly told through an entertaining cast of ghostly characters. There is plenty of darkness, but the novel's ultimate message is strong and life affirming." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Gaiman writes with charm and humor, and again he has a real winner....The conclusion is satisfying, but it leaves room for a sequel. Everyone who reads this book will hope fervently that the very busy author gets around to writing one soon." VOYA
"The Graveyard Book is everything everyone loves about Neil Gaiman, only multiplied many times over, a novel that showcases his effortless feel for narrative, his flawless instincts for suspense, and above all, his dark, almost silky sense of humor." Joe Hill, author of Heart-Shaped Box
"Gaiman's gift for invention and wit are as present as ever....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. (Grade: A)" The Onion A.V. Club
"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." A Fuse #8 Production
"Gaiman has a true gift for narrative and a delightfully light touch, and there are humorous details along with spine-chilling ones. YAs will race through this fine tale and enjoy every magical, creepy moment." KLIATT
"The Graveyard Book is endlessly inventive, masterfully told and, like Bod himself, too clever to fit into only one place. This is a book for everyone. You will love it to death." Holly Black, co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles
"The Graveyard Book manages the remarkable feat of playing delightful jazz riffs on Kipling's classic Jungle Books. One might call this book a small jewel, but in fact it's much bigger within than it looks from the outside." Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn
"Lucid, evocative prose and dark fairy-tale motifs imbue the story with a dreamlike quality...this ghost-story-cum-coming-of-age-novel as readable as it is accomplished." Horn Book (starred review)
"Like a bite of dark Halloween chocolate, this novel proves rich, bittersweet and very satisfying." Washington Post
"After finishing The Graveyard Book, I had only one thought -- I hope there's more. I want to see more of the adventures of Nobody Owens, and there is no higher praise for a book." Laurell K. Hamilton, author of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels
"I wish my younger self could have had the opportunity to read and re-read this wonderful book, and my older self wishes that I had written it." Garth Nix, author of The Abhorsen Trilogy
"It takes a graveyard to raise a child. My favorite thing about this book was watching Bod grow up in his fine crumbly graveyard with his dead and living friends. The Graveyard Book is another surprising and terrific book from Neil Gaiman." Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife
"This is, quite frankly, the best book Neil Gaiman has ever written. How he has managed to combine fascinating, friendly, frightening and fearsome in one fantasy I shall never know, but he has pulled it off magnificently - perfect for Halloween and any other time of the year." Diana Wynne Jones, author of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci
"The Graveyard Book, by turns exciting and witty, sinister and tender, shows Gaiman at the top of his form. In this novel of wonder, Neil Gaiman follows in the footsteps of long-ago storytellers, weaving a tale of unforgettable enchantment." New York Times Book Review
In his Newbery Medal-winning novel, Gaiman introduces Bod, a boy who is the only living resident of a graveyard. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? Illustrations.
It takes a graveyard to raise a child.
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 adventures in the graveyard for a boy — an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack — who has already killed Bod's family.
About the Author
Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, including the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, Coraline, Anansi Boys, and The Graveyard Book; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and M Is for Magic. He is also the coauthor (with Terry Pratchett) of the novel Good Omens, and coeditor (with Al Sarrantonio) of the fiction anthology Stories. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery Medal. Originally from England, Neil Gaiman now lives in America.
Review A Day
"The Graveyard Book
is one of Gaiman's best novels. With some notable exceptions, like Stardust
and Anansi Boys
, I prefer Gaiman's comic book writing (i.e. the Sandman series) to his prose, but this book is a joy to read. The scenes and characters spring vividly to life in a way that helped mark Gaiman's reputation as a comic writer but doesn't always happen in his prose. Don't be surprised to find yourself wishing you could trade places with Bod and grow up in a cemetery, yourself." Chris A. Bolton, Powells.com
(read the entire Powells.com review