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The Graveyard Book

ISBN-10: 0060530944
ISBN-13: 9780060530945
Author: Gaiman, Neil
Illustrated by: McKean, Dave
Interest Level: 6-12
Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: September 2010

Copyright: 2008

Page Count: 336

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Interest Level

Grades 6-12

Reading Level

Guided Reading: X
Lexile: 820L
Accelerated Reader Level: 5.1
Accelerated Reader Points: 10.0
Grade Level Equivalent:

BISAC Subjects

JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Birds

JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General

Raised since he was a baby by ghosts, werewolves, and other residents of the cemetery in which he has always resided, Bod wonders how he will manage to survive amongst the living with only the lessons he has learned from the dead.
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Jenna Clem, Accounts Receivable

Star Star Star Star Star

8/11/2011 12:58:03 PM
Though considered a children’s book (as was Coraline), I’ve always thought Neil Gaiman’s writing style never catered to children, but told the story without sacrificing adult themes being included. In this respect, I think he is a fabulous writer of both adult and children’s novels. The illustrations in this book (by Dave McKean) add to both the mood and the spirit of the story.

The Graveyard Book opens with a dark and brutal scene of a family being murdered by a ‘man named Jack’ but that same chapter also contains the escape of an infant to the security and safety of an unlikely set of guardians. The infant, aptly named Nobody (Bod) Owens, is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. What a creative way of taking the aversion and fear out of graveyards and making it a place of peace and safety. As Bod grows up in the graveyard, he learns to read and write, to call for help in several languages, and even Fading, a ghostly skill of becoming invisible. At least, unable to be seen even if he is not truly invisible.

Bod is surrounded by a lively cast of characters, including the moody witch Liza, the doting Mrs. Owens, the mysterious Silas, the stern Miss Lepescu, and Scarlett Amber Perkins, his one human friend. Through these distinct personalities, Bod understands friendship, respect, love, and sacrifice. In the end, it is many of these lessons that lead him to face the villain, the ‘man named Jack’.