The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

Audio CD(Unabridged, 7 CDs, 7 hours 30 minutes)

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The original hardcover edition of a perennial favorite, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which has sold more than one million copies and is the only novel to win both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal.

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?

The Graveyard Book is the winner of the Newbery Medal, the Carnegie Medal, the Hugo Award for best novel, the Locus Award for Young Adult novel, the American Bookseller Association’s “Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book,” a Horn Book Honor, and Audio Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061551895
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/30/2008
Edition description: Unabridged, 7 CDs, 7 hours 30 minutes
Pages: 7
Sales rank: 422,207
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

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. Originally from England, he now lives in America.

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. Originally from England, he now lives in America.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

November 10, 1960

Place of Birth:

Portchester, England


Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77

What People are Saying About This

Laurell K. Hamilton

“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.”

Audrey Niffenegger

“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.”

Diana Wynne Jones

“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.”

Joe Hill

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.

Garth Nix

“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.”

James Herbert

The Graveyard Book confirms what I’ve always thought: Neil Gaiman is a literary genius!”

Holly Black

“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.”

Peter S. Beagle

“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.”

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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The Graveyard Book 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1281 reviews.
ReaderMomKG More than 1 year ago
My 4th grade son had to pick a Newbery Award winning book, so he picked this one because it was the newest. At first the vocabulary was challenging. My son was annoyed at having to look words up in the dictionary, but the story was so enticing that eventually acquiesced since the difficult words were so relevent to the theme of the story and the storyline. Great overall lesson to be learned in the story, although I had to explain it to my son, due to the mature ideas. Loved it and my son enjoyed doing his report, thanks to the book.
mmcmichael More than 1 year ago
Check Out the Graveyard! The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, is one of the most interesting books I have ever read! Imagine a book about a graveyard! This setting alone is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. From people breaking into houses, murder and talking to the dead, you never know what to expect next. This tale is about a boy whose family is killed in the middle of the night. The boy, Bod, is forced to live in a graveyard where he is raised by ghosts. Bod can not leave the graveyard because there is an evil man named Jack who wants him dead. As you read Bod's adventures, you can just tell that this is going to be a great story. The manner in which Gaiman writes this story makes you feel like it is normal to have ghosts as adoptive parents or family members. The ghosts talk just like people who are alive. The ghosts realize that they need help to raise the boy, or as they say, "It will take a graveyard." This book actually makes a graveyard sound like an interesting and lively place rather than a dull and boring place. How many people get to eat meals in a tomb? In addition, the characters such as Silas and Mr. and Mrs. Owens add to the plot by making the story more interesting. For instance, there are many questions raised when Silas says "You must be alive or you must be dead to dance it-and I am neither." It was obvious that Bod enjoyed living in the graveyard. However, it is hinted that he has to leave at some point, when Gaiman writes "sometimes he can no longer see the dead." Gaiman's The Graveyard Book is a great book for readers who like to be on the edge of their seat and creeped out. It's packed with action and creepy stuff that will keep the reader interested and entertained. In addition, the story illustrates that there can be all kinds of families. As any ghost would agree, I give The Graveyard Book 10 tombstones out of 10 for all teenagers..
Aradanryl More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book as an adult, the story was engaging and I had a soft spot for Nobody. I liked the twists and turns, the changes in relationships as Nobody grows up, and the ways Nobody met his challenges. I grinned when he complained about learning certain words in multiple languages!

My only concern: I'm not sure of the age group listed, I wouldn't have liked the school assigning this book to my kids when they were 9 or 10, they wouldn't have handled the beginning well. I'd have rated it higher if it was for a slightly older group.
Twigs522 More than 1 year ago
Neil Gaiman crafts a perfectly poetic story; every time I sit down to read his latest, I am always surprised by how much I enjoyed his lean books. He manages to put so much perspective into very small places. In the Graveyard Book, each chapter was a small adventure in learning the way things that are not alive "live" in other planes of existence, thrilling but nothing too over the top or phantasmagoric. He leaves the door open for his creatures/characters to have a story of their own, not only alive for the story he is presently telling. The characters could as very well have their own volumes of stories to tell. The Graveyard Book gave enough detail about each character to build a gray-yet-earthy moving picture, but not too much that it was wordy or heavy. Ghouls and creatures of the night have their own stories to tell, most of them repeating history and their life story said and buried. The lesson Nobody Owens, the main character, learns is the great potential of opportunity that living and breathing things are given; essentially that life is a gift much like a ticking clock - time is meant to pass but how will you spend your days before your volume is written? Sure, the dead may be family of great worth to Bod, loving and able to be loved, but they are shadows of what was and he is alive after all. Each person has a story to tell, but each has to be his own creator and seek out his own experiences. There is only so much to see and do in an unchanging graveyard, accept for maybe the addition of a newly departed spirit who may walk the grounds. Throughout the story Bod gets himself in a variety of situations of which help him learn survival skills and hone his wit as his ages, forming an ecclectic open minded character owning secrets of the graveyard but having much to learn; at any age our perspective can be refreshed by the storyline.
swilson327 More than 1 year ago
I'm an adult but gravitated towards this book in the book store. I've read Coraline to my students and really enjoyed it so I was curious about this one. Gaiman had me from the first page! This is one of those books that comes alive in your mind. The characters are interesting and their relationships strong; even though most of them are ghosts! I think any avid teenage reader would enjoy this book and the many stories they'll learn from the inhabitants of the graveyard! High reading interest!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading the first 4 pages of Graveyard I was hooked. Big time. The writing was great, the concept fantastic and I was certain that I was going to absolutely love this book. And I did, up till about page 40. Then nothing happened. For the next 200 pages there was no conflict, no danger, no drama, no laughs. Just Bod learning school-like lessons, meeting the ghosts of the graveyard, wandering about, doing this, doing that. Excruciatingly boring stuff. I was so disappointed. Nonetheless I trudged and trudged and trudged on to the end. Thankfully the ending was pretty satisfying, though predictable. For the life of me I can't figure out how anyone could give this mediocre work such high marks, let alone a major award. And for those comparing Graveyard to The Jungle Book...Gaiman's disaster is not fit to wipe the dust from Kipling's classic.
Bugaboo More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly moving, "The Graveyard Book" cast me under its spell with its deceptively simple, straightforward narrative. The story revolves around Bod, a boy who grows up living in a cemetery. Although obviously aimed at younger readers, adults can also enjoy this tale for all its macabre twists and turns and its very human characters. This is a book that doesn't dumb things down for its audience. It's not afraid to be dark and foreboding, but it's also not afraid to be lighthearted and childlike. "The Graveyard Book" struck a chord with me that I was not expecting. It has a very important message to relate, one that I shall never forget. This is the first book I've read by Neil Gaiman, but I will definitely be reading more of his work. I'm looking forward to the further adventures of Bod.
NBNB More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my 11 year old for Christmas. He asked if I would read it to him (which is unusual). So, we are reading it together. It's an interesting book. We are enjoying it. I really don't understand why it is recommended for 9-12. It could be scary for kids that young. The vocabulary is also slightly complicated for that age. He is really enjoying it now that I am reading it to him. If he was trying to read it on his own though, he would have chosen something else. My 3 star rating is mostly because of the age recommendation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read most of Neil Gaiman's books, and this is one of my favorites. Gaiman fanatics will remember meeting Nobody Owens in a short story about him meeting the ghost of a witch, and 'The Graveyard Book' gives Bod many more adventures. Bod is a great character, and I sincerely hope that Mr. Gaiman writes a sequel soon. You do not have to be a kid to enjoy this book, and it may be a bit too dark for younger kids (keep in mind that most of the characters are dead, after all).
the1stdaughter More than 1 year ago
Torn. That's probably the best way to sum up how I feel about this book. After reading multiple reviews, primarily positive, I felt I had to give it a shot. Also, with the added benefit of being able to add it to my reviews for the 'A World of Awards' feature for the Newbery Award, I thought why not? But now I'm not so sure. Let me just say this, if I could leave out the last chapter there wouldn't be a question, it was great! But there it is, the LAST CHAPTER. It had me balling through every last page and wishing beyond hope that it wasn't so. I won't say more about it than that, because I won't spoil it, but I'm almost wishing there was a next book. Sticking with the first seven chapters of the book I'll give some honest thoughts. In the first chapter Gaiman grabs your attention right away and it's almost hard to believe a story could begin in such a way, but it's so original. To even imagine that a small child would survive an attack from someone I initially considered to possibly be Jack the Ripper, crazy. Your heart breaks in almost the very first two or three pages, but quickly is healed by some very incredible moments ahead. I also held my breathe a lot during those first few pages, just hoping that things would go well and they do. Really, they have to or there wouldn't be much of a story. Every person involved in the undertaking of raising a mortal child in the graveyard is unique and has a history that spans not only decades but centuries. There are ghosts, ghouls, werewolves, vampires, witches, plain old every day human beings, and of course The Jacks. My favorite character by far would have to be Silas, Nobody's guardian and maybe that's because (as it's been hinted by Neil himself) he's a vampire. I love a good vampire character, always have (long before the sparkly versions in today's books came to be). It's the mystery and elusiveness that he brings to the scenes. Always just enough, but not too much. But truly all of the characters are wonderful and it's neat to see how Bod interacts with each of them. There is a scene where Silas and Bod are talking about the unconsecrated section of the graveyard, where the 'bad' people are buried. At the time Bod is only eight years old, but asks a question about people who commit suicide: 'Does it work? Are they happier?' And Silas responds by saying something so poignant that it affects me even now: 'Sometimes. Mostly, no. It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.' p.104 In these simple sentences something that I have struggled with for some time was worked out and I have an even deeper peace about something I could do nothing to prevent. It seems silly to me that a simple middle grade fiction book could do this for me, but it did. This is a story for someone looking for a little mystery, a bit of adventure and even (believe it or not) some romance. There are silly parts and deep parts depending on what you chose to get out of it. What I liked best about it is that I could really see a young boy getting into it. I'm positive that it's because of The Turkeybird, I'm always on the lookout for books I want him to try out when he's a bit older and this is definitely one of them. Even with the ending how it is, I look forward to talking with him about the results and how it affects his own life and relationships.
MrPotter07 More than 1 year ago
This book was a fun read. It feels more like a collection of short stories based on a single character than a novel, but by the end, you really feel the through line. This book didn't change my life, by any means, but I'm glad I read it. Vivid and imaginative characters written in a way that only Gaiman could write. If you loved Coraline, you'll love this!
KMB853 More than 1 year ago
Very clever and another wonderful Neil Gaiman novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not have this copy of the book but I have read the hard copy of it multiple times. The first time I did not think I would care for it but aftert the first chapter I fell in love! I even had my 7 year old brother listen to it and he is as hooked as I am. I now have to decide if I would rather own it on the nook or a physical copy! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My group read it and it was great. Bod parents were murdered by a man named jack. And he escapes and he was like 1 year old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply love this book
ohhai More than 1 year ago
I had never read anything by Neil Gaiman and bought this book on a whim for someone else, but I ended up reading it first out of curiousity. I generally read chick lit or historial fiction so this type of writing was a break from my norm. The story is very engrossing, the characters are interesting and the illustrations are beautiful. I would recommend this book to anyone.
ellogovna More than 1 year ago
After the pleasant surprise that was Coraline, I decided to give Gaiman another shot, and I was not disappointed. Somehow he (Gaiman) manages incorporate supernatural elements into a coming of age story and makes it completely accessible. Yes the main character Bod (Nobody) has a strange name, yes he lives with dead people in a cemetery, yes even as a toddler a super secret organization puts a hit out on young Bod; but he's just like everyone else. The reader is able to sympathize with Bod through his desperate attempts to connect, and his constant search to find where he fits in the world. Do not hesitate to purchase this book, it is well written, completely original, and contains a message that is truly priceless.
charlottesweb93 More than 1 year ago
Graveyards can be a mysterious, scary place. Neil Gaiman dispels some of the myths and fears with his fabulous book, The Graveyard Book, showing that Graveyards can be more than cobwebs and creepiness. They can be fun, educational and exciting. The Graveyard Book was fun to read,even for this thirty-something skeptic. It is imaginative, well written, and everything a kid or an adult could sink their teeth into. The wonderful illustrations dispersed throughout the book only add to the magic of the story. I can truly see why The Graveyard Book won the Newberry Award. Congratulations Mr. Gaiman. Well done!
SJKessel More than 1 year ago
Gaiman, N. (2008). The Graveyard Book. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 9780060530938 After his family is murdered, a nameless toddler finds himself safe in an old graveyard and protected by the ghosts. Given the name Bod, short for Nobody Owens (Nobody Owns, get it?), he is taught by the ghosts and encounters a possible friend, ghouls, a witch, a grey lady, bullies etc. But he eventually must face the man who killed his family to finally be safe and ready to live. While Bod ages throughout of the book, when he is supposedly six, he hardly feels like a child that young. The plot is engaging enough that older children should be willing to read to the book until Bod is closer to their own age. While there are some illustrations, the long chapters could discourage many readers. Of course, fifth or sixth grade students probably won't mind any of this if the story is read aloud to them. (I'd probably only consider sharing the book with individual students younger than that on rare occasions, for fear of the potential frights the book might include. (While the ghosts are kind. Some ghouls (especially the 33rd president of the United States) and a "wet knife" still have the potential to frighten some children) A teacher could emphasize the sense of community that exists in the graveyard. Or the experience of dealing with bullies that Bod has some suggestions about once he begins attending school. What's also great about this book is that the reader gets to witness the process of Bod learning to read and becoming a reader who loves books. Plus , the book shares the inevitable truth that each teenage girl should have a cell phone of her very own. On an only slightly related note, I have been at war with Neil Gaiman for a few years now. He just doesn't know it. I want him to stop scaring the wee little children with wolves in the walls, button-eyes, etc. and he wants to write successful books and win awards. I'm biding my time. I may, however, have to call a truce for The Graveyard Book. Don't get me wrong, there's still murder and fiendish characters. But the ghosts are fun and give Bod a safe and supportive environment. And they make me laugh. Activities to do with the book: Given the fact that most of the ghosts who live in the graveyard had lived in different centuries, a teacher could guide students in research into the various time periods. Of course, a student may need to provide some extra support to American students, since this is set in England and assumes the geography and history of Europe. Students could also do research projects on subject such as the humors, once believed to have medical significance. This is a good read aloud. Together, students could speculate about the significance of various supernatural characters. With younger students, a teacher would probably have to pause as characters previously introduced are reintroduced much later in the text. Favorite Quotes: "There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife. The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately" (pp. 2-5). "It is going to take more than just a couple of good-hearted souls to raise this child. It will," said Silas, "take a graveyard" (p. 23). "It's the first nice thing anyone's done for me in five hundred years" (p. 131). For more of my reviews, visit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book very disappointing. The "adventures" Bod experiences were boring, nothing much happens, the spirits are more entertaining and the ending was not much of a surprise. I am surprised it won the Newberry Award. Perhaps I missed something?
StephanieR More than 1 year ago
I bought this for a "spooky" overnight adventure with two twelve year old girls. They'd conjured a ghost in our last overnight together, so I thought they'd like "The Graveyard Book," and I was right! They loved it! Gaiman's wonderful sensusous and evocative writing pulls you in, and keeps you on edge! He's so skillful. And since my two twelve year olds love to be scared... Grauman does a great job of that. If you're an adult and you want to read about dead people coming back, you might like "Love From Both Sides - A True Story of Soul Survival and Sacred Sexuality."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent storyline
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was quite the story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is the worst book i have ever read in my entire life. I only read the first 4 chapters and it literally sucked so bad that i am unable to finish the rest of it. DO NOT READ.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While not as griping as Coraline, The Graveyard Book has, perhaps, more heart. The subtle details and effortless characterization bring the world to life as the fantastic events propel the darkly humorous, scary, and touching story forward to its tension filled conclusion. Another example of a many layered children¿s book that will not disappoint its adult readers.