The Graveyard Book is a Children’s/Young Adults horror story targeting 9+. As you would expect with a horror story, there is a dark side that tells the history of Bod, (Nobody Owens) and his journey into becoming a young man of 15. We are introduced to Bod as a baby when a stranger breaks into his family home and murders his parents and sister.

The stranger spends the next 15 years looking for Bod “to finish the job”. Unbeknownst to the stranger, Bod found his way to the local graveyard where Mr and Mrs Owens adopted him, who died over 200 years ago. Bod is raised by ghosts and taught all aspects of ghost behaviour, although Bod is very charming and curious. We are introduced to several ghosts whose attitudes and language reflect the era of their birth and death. Bod has a guardian who is mysterious in his own right and becomes his second father and mentor. Bod obeys his guardian without question until he expresses a desire to spend time with the living and out of the graveyard.

Book Review under 400 Words

The Graveyard book itself explores a number of adolescent issues, for example bullying and telling lies which resulted in police intimidation. There is also extortion and additional threats of violence. There is a sarcastic description of how Britain used to treat witches and ultimately kill them. If reading this book with a child, some words may need an explanation as the language is quite grown-up. If your child is a science fiction fan, this may be a story for them. However, it comes with a warning that there are some violent and scary themes.

The book written in 2008 by Neil Gaiman, who has won several literary prizes. His pace and storytelling are superb. An American film company has purchased the story to turn into a movie. From a personal perspective, it was a charming horror story with a scattering of violence, extortion, and bullying. My only criticism of the book was that it left a few loose ends. There is certainly scope for a second story about Bod and what he does next, and more information about his guardian and what it is he is protecting. I would recommend this book for children of 9+ but with a healthy warning.

To find out more about the author and his other books, his website can be found at

This Book is available in the following formats:

  • Printed version £5.99 from Amazon and other book shops
  • Electronic Version from £4.28 from Amazon and other ebook providers
  • Audio CD and Multimedia CD

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