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The Graveyard Book Paperback – August 1, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 6,904 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“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)

“Like a bite of dark Halloween chocolate, this novel proves rich, bittersweet and very satisfying.” (Washington Post)

“Wistful, witty, wise―and creepy. This 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….this is a rich story with broad appeal. ” (Booklist
(starred review))

“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))

“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)

“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)

“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)

“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)

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)

From the Back Cover

The 10th anniversary edition of The Graveyard Book includes a foreword by Margaret Atwood as well as sketches from the illustrator, handwritten drafts, and Neil Gaiman’s Newbery acceptance speech.


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.

The Graveyard Book, a modern classic, is the only work ever to win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) medals.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins; Reprint edition (August 1, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0060530944
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0060530945
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 10 - 12 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 820L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 5 - 6
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.5 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.02 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 6,904 ratings

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Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book. Among his numerous literary awards are the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. He is a Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
6,904 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 30, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2017
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K. Spivey
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, easy read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 24, 2009
Regina Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Instantaneous Classic
Reviewed in Germany on March 7, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Instantaneous Classic
Reviewed in Germany on March 7, 2020
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Hey Hunters,

So I started Neil Gaiman's Masterclass, wishing to improve my writing and to get a piece of mind from a professional. Now this post is a book review, so I will not be analyzing the class itself, but if you guys want me to, then leave a comment. Anyhow, in his class, he talks about his characters, how he designs them, how their needs and wants collide and how you build a character. Really what impressed me was the way he talks in his lectures, it is mesmerizing, and how he sees things when he writes about them.

One of the books discussed in the lecture was The Graveyard Book. Previously I have only have read the Good Omens, and this was back when it came out and I was selected as an ARC reviewer. Since then I was overwhelmed by the number of books in existence and by staggering publishing amounts that grow yearly. Basically I knew Gaiman existed, but did not give much attention as to what was published by him. Warning minor spoilers!

During his lecture, he pulls out his book, which obviously looks like a children's book, and I almost rolled my eyes at this. Then he started reading and explaining why did he write that, what he did there and so on. It was such an obvious thing on the "wants and needs" and one character getting something that they want, and how others don't. As a reader one simply glides over these things, they just seem more real when they are so well written, it feels organic, but as an author, one feels simply invigorated when all things click. When this realization comes.

So I bought the book.

The thing was blue, with a dust jacket. I carefully tucked the jacket away, keeping the fragile thing safe, and opened to a familiar first chapter that Gaiman analyzed in his lecture. The abundance of characters the world of the Graveyard is simply astounding, and one feels welcomed as one of the ghosts and allowed the reader to wander with little Bod and the rest.


The setting of the book is The Graveyard. Gaiman takes us here and there on short trips to the world of humans, but Graveyard is our home. During each chapter, we read the names of people long gone, and I have a suspicion that Gaiman possibly used the real engraving from the gravestones to commemorate them in his book. Although a seemingly monotonous place, Graveyard is full of its surprises. All is always as it was at the graveyard, but one only needs to ask a question to find history and soul of this seeming teeming with life place.


The man Jack

The man Jack, or rather men Jack were the most startling and mysterious of the characters. They simply exist as a mystery and with an unknown purpose. We do know that they are villains, and one can draw parallel between them and maybe evil corporations, the spies, or whatnot. Still one never truly knows what they are.

Dr Lupescu

I loved this character. And beetroot is yummy! She is this stern lady, with a strong drive to help Bod. I liked her complexity through her small roles, they were important. One can never simply dismiss people in their life. Lupescu is one of those teachers that you ignored, but then one day realized that they have a life outside of your time and how they are actually using this small time to help you. The teacher that becomes a an alive human being not just a 45-minute mannequin.

Nobody (Bod) Owens

Although he is the main character, I placed him lower down the food chain, simply because other characters were much more fun for me than him. So Bod is an orphan who lives at the Graveyard of ours. We go through his life living there, the lessons he learns and mistakes that he makes. Possibly the most outstanding of his qualities was to do what was right when it was needed. His ability to learn through experience also resonated quite a bit with me.


One of the more mysterious characters, as we have all of him to ourselves, but never truly. He is there, but not fully. This is the best way I can describe the guardian of Bod. He is helpful, he protects, he provides, but always not fully there. Not dead, nor alive.

The Ghouls

Oh my goodness, THE GHOULS. I am a supernatural fan, so seeing the word ghouls gave me a little start! Of course, Gaiman described them as miniature people about the size of, I believe, a seven or eight-year-old. Things that do not remember, things that always hunger, they live in Ghoulheim, but they never create, they only scavenge. I really liked a chapter with them, as they were simply adorable!


It is always difficult to find a plot and meaning in a very good book, there is always simply soo much to dig up. One can always find his meaning, but another person will simply find the one that fit them the most. I guess this is why literary critics exist. This book focused on everything:

Growing Up

Growing Old




Good vs. Evil

Being a hero

Learning and life lessons

This book was simply packed with themes and plots. And my list is in no way a complete one. If you were to read this book, I would want for you to find the lessons that simply were written for you and not look for mine.

Final Thoughts:

I wish that I would've read this book when I was younger, maybe 8 or 12. I see this book as I see The Hobbit, its a journey to adulthood. One must read this book when they are young to learn common themes and then once more as an adult to grasp the text in its entirety. It is a beautifully and thoughtfully written book, with so much backbone to it. In my house, it is an instant classic and if I ever have kids, it will be a must-read.
Regina Hunter
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5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it.
Reviewed in Canada on May 17, 2020
4 people found this helpful
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