Fantasy: The Graveyard Book (Audio Book)

8 Aug

Gaiman, Neil, and Dave McKean. The graveyard book . New York: HarperCollins Pub., 2008.


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

Nobody Owens has no memory of life outside the graveyard.  He crawled into it when he was only a toddler.  His mother, father and sister had just been murdered.

The ghosts of the graveyard decide to adopt the orphaned child on that very night and give him the name Nobody “Bod” Owens.  For the next fifteen years Bod lives in the graveyard learning from the souls of the people buried there.  Silas, his guardian and mentor is not quite dead, but not quite alive.  He is adopted by Mr. And Mrs. Owens one of the more respected couples of the graveyard.  Bod learns from the dead, how to make himself disappear, how to create fear amongst the living.  He learns of ghouls, witches, and the generations of souls buried since before the arrival of the Romans.

Bod is often reminded that he is not safe amongst the living.  The man Jack, the murderer that killed his family is still looking for him, looking to finish the job.

Neil Gaiman’s epic fantasy The Graveyard Book follows the life and adventures of Nobody Owens, the living child of the graveyard.  From mishaps to mystery this book is full of life that is sure to capture the imagination of young readers.


I chose to review the audio version of this book.  The narrator is captivating and does an excellent job of creating the mood of the story.  The story is complimented with ghoulish music between chapters, creating a sense of adventure throughout the book.  Neil Gaiman does an incredible job developing the characters of the book- the wise Silas, calm and thoughtful, Mr. and Mrs. Owens lighthearted and loving, Scarlett the young girl that is Bod’s only connection to the real world.  Gaiman creates a world where the graveyard becomes a safe and comforting place, a place of adventure but also loneliness.  The reader is transformed into the realm of the supernatural, where the dead pass on the lessons of how to haunt the living.  Even in the fictional world of witches and ghouls Gaiman does not fool the reader, Bod still has to find ways to get real food and learn to read.  While filled with fantasy and action, the book still illustrates universal themes of friendship, loneliness and longing.  Imaginative young minds are sure to love the uniqueness of the story. The Graveyard Book is perfect for stimulating creativity and imagination amongst young readers.


“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) )

“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 )


*Neil Gaiman’s website for young readers: including book trailers

*Teacher’s Guide:


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