The Graveyard Book

by By Neil Gaiman
 The Graveyard Book is a children's fantasy book. It traces the story of the boy Nobody Bod Owens, who is adopted and raised by the supernatural occupants of a graveyard after his family is brutally murdered. The Graveyard Book By Neil Gaiman  #Bestjuvenile, childrenfantasy, #fantasyfiction, #,#mystery,#reading, #BooksToRead, #bookclub, #reading, #books, #graveyardbook, #neilgaiman, #awardwinningbook

Book Summary

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. IT TAKES A GRAVEYARD TO RAISE A CHILD.

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.

Newbery Medal
Hugo Award
Locus Award
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book ALA Notable Children's Book
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
ALA Booklist Editors' Choice
Horn Book Fanfare
Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book
Time Magazine Top Ten Fiction
Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice New York Public Library's 100 Titles
for Reading and Sharing
New York Public Library Stuff for the Teen Age
Vermont's Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award

Juvenile Fantasy Fiction - Age range 8+

Discussion Questions

1. From the opening lines, Gaiman hooks readers with a distinct narrative voice and a vivid setting. Discuss how both of these elements serve the story.

2. There is a rich tradition of orphans in children's literature as well as a tradition of child-of-destiny themes in fantasy literature. Discuss how Bod fits squarely into both categories.

3. The graveyard is populated with characters we typically think of as evil. How does Gaiman play with this idea, particularly in the characters of Silas, Miss Lupescu, and Eliza Hempstock? What do these characterizations suggest about human nature?

4. Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean are frequent collaborators. How do the illustrations contribute to your reading of The Graveyard Book?

5. If you are familiar with Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, discuss how The Graveyard Book is reminiscent of Kipling's classic tale. How does a familiarity with The Jungle Book enhance the reading of The Graveyard Book?

6. At the close of the novel, Mrs. Owens sings about embracing the human experience: "Face your life / Its pain, its pleasure, / Leave no path untaken" (p. 306). How does this theme resonate throughout the novel?

7. "A graveyard is not normally a democracy, and yet death is the great democracy" (p. 29). How is death the great democracy? How does Gaiman explore the relationship between the dead and the living?

8. It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. How does this graveyard come together to raise this particular child? Describe the special mentoring relationships that Bod has with Silas and Miss Lupescu.

9. Boundaries-between the living and the dead, between the graveyard and the world-are an important part of the novel. How does Bod test these boundaries? What are the consequences of Bod's actions?

10. Bod's human interactions are limited to a short-lived friendship with Scarlett and a brief stint at school. Discuss how these experiences change Bod. How do our friendships and associa- tions with others affect us?

11. What do you think of the advice that Bod receives from Nehe- miah Trot, the dead poet: "Do not take revenge in the heat of the moment. Instead, wait until the hour is propitious" (p. 233)?

12. How does The Graveyard Book compare to Gaiman's first novel for young readers, Coraline? Much of Coraline's success can be attributed to its strong and diverse following. What are some of the characteristics of Gaiman's writing that make it appealing to young and old alike?

13. Like much of Gaiman's work, The Graveyard Book manages to fuse elements of humor, horror, fantasy, and mystery into a single story. Identify examples of these elements and discuss how they work together. How might the story read differently if one or more of these elements were removed?
Discussion Questions By The Publisher

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