Bulldog Library

The Graveyard Book

on May 24, 2013

JF Gaiman    •    AR Reading Level: 5.1    •    AR Points: 10.0    •    Quiz #125535


On a cold and misty October night, the man Jack enters the home of a sleeping family with dark and murderous intentions.  With speed and silence, his razor-sharp blade serves its dark purpose three times over, but the tiny baby escapes from the man Jack’s grasp.  Unseen and unheard he climbs out of his crib and down the stairs into the nearby graveyard.

With the man Jack in pursuit, the ghostly residence of the graveyard conceal the child to save him from the wicked assailant.  They grant him the freedom of the graveyard and care for him as he grows.  But what kind of life can a live child have among the dead?  Will he survive a second time if the man Jack finds him in the graveyard?

This is a very good book, but it is a very odd book.  Many of the chapters feel like short stories strung together with only the common characters to unite them.  Each chapter is an interesting story in and of itself, but it is not until the end of the book that the author starts to tie together the loose ends that book really shines.  It becomes more than a collection of short stories and becomes a unified story of a boy with a really interesting and unusual life story, a story of life and all of its possibilities and adventures.

This is a story that deals with death, murder, monsters, and ghouls.  It might be frightening for younger readers.  Older tweens and teens are more likely to enjoy this Newbery Award winning tale of the macabre.

Genre: Horror  •  Interest Level: grades 6 and up

2009 Newbery Medal Winner

Gaiman, N. (2008).  The Graveyard Book.  (Dave McKean, Illustrator).  New York, NY: Harper Collins.


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