Skip to main content
PBS logo

Book Review of The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Children's Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Sleepy26177 avatar reviewed on + 218 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1

For me it was an impulse to buy this extraordinary book. Actually I walked through B&N children books when I saw the interesting, shining cover. Of course I had read about the book sooner on different forums so I bought it and din't really read the books description. :-)

The man named Jack enters quietly the house, leaving the father, the mother and the daughter dead. With only the little toddler left he makes his way up to the top of the house to find the toddlers crib being empty.
The boy is awaken by a crash in the house. His curious manners make crawl, walking isn't an option at this young age, out of his room, down the stairsand through the open front door.
The man named Jack sniffs the air. He sniffs through the house, outside the door and follows the child's scent.

Mrs. and Mr. Owens look down onto the little toddler that half naked just crawled through the graveyards gates. The approaching man seems to be its father but then they hear a shout the man is going to kill the boy. Mrs. Owens speaks to the voice and fading shadow that begs them to protect the child and take it into their midst.
Mrs. and Mr. Owens agree and the child vanishes in the mist leaving the man Jack alone on the graveyard.
The Owens have been dead for hundreds of years and so have their graveyard friends. It is decided that the boy stays on the graveyard to be safe and raised like their own. With his guardian the solitary Silas, the boy grows and learns the secrets and dangers of the graveyard but getting older he seeks for more then the graveyard can offer bringing him to the danger of the outside world and eventually exposing him to the man who has never stopped searching for him.


I find the book utterly charming and entertaining.
The idea of having a child raised by ghosts learning the ghost of all ages and the graveyards history and accomplishing ghostly abilities is fascinating and lovely described by the writer.
The character Silas and his whole role in the book almost demand of more of him and his following adventures and maybe his former life. Same goes for the man Jack and what drove him to end the lives of Bod's family.

The first chapter though seems for me a bit too graphic for the recommended age range. Being not an expert on children books or not being a parent myself I'd still recommend parents to read over it first and then decide if their child's development is far enough to handle graphic scenes. The chapter might has well have been taken from a cozy mystery.

Otherwise the book is perfectly safe, including everything a child might like: A little creepy, lots of love and friendship between the ghosts and their community and how much love they put into the boys education. Lovely and enchanting.