The Graveyard Book: Summary & Characters

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

If you like to read fantasy or ghost stories, you'll love Neil Gaiman's novel ''The Graveyard Book''. Continue with this lesson for a summary of the story and characters of this award-winning novel.

A Book About Companions

Who are the most important people in your life? Who teaches you what you need to know, listens when you need to talk, and helps you when you get in trouble? Maybe it is your siblings, friends, or parents. Maybe it is someone else. In The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, we meet the most important people in Bod's life - and some of them, strictly speaking, aren't people at all.

The Plot

Nobody Owens - Bod, for short - has an unusual childhood. During the brutal murder of his parents and sister by a man named Jack, the toddler Bod wanders out of the house and down the street to the graveyard. The graveyard folk immediately realize that Bod is in danger from the man Jack, and after some deliberation offer him the Freedom of the Graveyard.

The Freedom of the Graveyard means that Bod is able to do things that are impossible for most living people, such as fading out of sight and walking through walls and solid ground. As he grows, he is not allowed to leave the graveyard, because in the graveyard he is safe. His parents, friends and teachers are the ghosts of people buried in the graveyard, and his guardian Silas brings him food and supplies from the outside world.

The Graveyard Book is the story of Bod's years in the graveyard, and how he slowly learns about the outside world. Eventually he is forced to face the man Jack, who still wants to murder Bod. Jack is beaten with help from Bod's friends, and Bod is ready to leave the protection of the graveyard and begin his life in the world of the living.

The Graveyard Book is the story of Bod, who grows up in a graveyard.
the graveyard book

The Characters

Here are the main characters in The Graveyard Book.

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