The Graveyard Book

Gaiman, Neil and Dave McKean.  The Graveyard Book.  (2008). New York:  Harper Collins Publishers.

Summary:     Chapters 6 through 8


I can’t believe it!  I was caught in the mystery right along with Bod and Scarlett! 

I was so glad that Scarlett returned to the City and to see Bod.  She was one of the only humans with which Bod had developed a positive relationship. 

And, she was so willing to help him solve the mystery behind the murder of his parents.  The man Jack (Frost) was so sly.  I truly believed he was a meek character, just there to help.  Just a mere historian wandering the graveyards seeking to give justice to those whose death had been forgotten.  He had truly thought out his plan ~ to move into Bod’s original home; to find this character to portray; to watch Scarlett and Bod together; and to even become friends with Scarlett and her mother!  Such thought and evil planning!  I believed in Mr. Frost right up until he pulled the knife from the floorboard (p. 255).  I couldn’t believe it!  I had expected a note; an official document; an incriminating picture; something ~ but not the knife ~ the man “Jack” had finally caught him! 

However, Bod was just as clever.  He used all of the knowledge taught him by those who reared him within the graveyard.  As we find out, the man “Jack” is just one of many “Jacks” ~ the revered group of “Jacks of All Trades”.  I knew something was different about the men who came to the door of33 Dunstan Road.  All of the men had names like “Dandy”; “Nimble”; and “Tar”.  I wasn’t quite sure how everything fit together.  Through Bod’s birth, and his abilities to interact between the living and the dead, the organization of “Jacks” was in danger.  Their “magic” was compromised by having Bod, and his abilities, alive (p. 271). 

Bod used what he had learned from his family within the graveyard to trap and harm the “Jacks” who were trying to kill him.  The first Jack, trying to catch Bod, fell into a deep crypt, breaking his ankle.  Three of the other Jacks were tricked into the ghoul-gate.  And, the last Jack, the one who had killed Bod’s family received the worst punishment of all (I think).  He was led into the crypt where the Sleer guarded treasure for their master ~ master that the Sleer had waited on for centuries.  Bod led Jack to think that he could become the Sleer’s master and receive all the riches it guarded.  Once Jack admitted that “yes, obviously I am it new master”, the Sleer engulfed him in its snake-like coils (p. 284).  He was led, unmercifully, into an unknown, non-living world.

I was sorry to hear about Ms. Lupescu’s dying.  She and Silas had been working to rid the world of all of the “Jacks” so others did not have to suffer as the Dorian family suffered.  I still can’t quite describe what Silas was, being that he was not living and not dead.  I’m just glad that he agreed to be a guardian to Bod and he kept that agreement.  I was a little sad, though, when Bod left the graveyard, especially when he told his mother goodbye.

“He tried to put his arms around his mother then, as he had when he was a child, although he might as well have been trying to hold mist, for he was alone on the path.  He took a step forward, through the gate that took him out of the graveyard (p. 307).

Good luck, Bod!


Similar Books for Younger Children:

Using the “Book Wizard” from Scholastic, I found about 6 books that would be good to read aloud to younger students. 

These are the ones I thought would be interesting:

Ghosts Don’t Eat Potato Chips by Margaret Thornton

            ABaileySchoolKids Mystery

            Grade Level:  3.9


The Case of the Graveyard Ghost by Mildred Torrey

            Doyle and Fossey, Scientific Detectives

            Grade Level:  3.9


The Case of the Gasping Garbage by Mildred Torrey

            Doyle and Fossey, Scientific Detectives

            Grade Level:  3.6


It’s Halloween, ‘Fraidy Mouse by Geronimo Stilton

            Grade Level:  2.0


Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka

            (many books in this series)

            Grade Level:  4.3


Ghost Tale for Christmas Time by Mary Pope Osbourne

            A Merlin Mission from the Magic Tree House Series

            Grade Level:  5.0


Listening to Neil Gaiman read from The Graveyard Book:

I liked this website and plan to spend time exploring it more!

I listened to chapters 1 and 5 as Neil read them to captivated audiences.  While reading chapter 1, Mr. Gaiman read slow enough for his listeners to fully understand the story.  Being a visual learner, I would have a difficult time making sense of a story like this, if I had not been able to read it first.  Although, Mr. Gaiman took his time; used expressive gestures to emphasize the language in the book; and paused for those words to take affect on the listeners.  He read the same type of way during chapter 5.  I thought this chapter was the most vivid of all of them because the world of the living joined with the world of the dead.  It’s one of those chapters that you read and wonder:  is it real?  Did this really happen or did Bod just really want it to happen? 

I would have liked to seen Mr. Gaiman sitting comfortably in a cushy chair reading to the audience.  Standing behind a podium with a microphone was not so appealing to me.  I would have preferred him settling down, shoes off, and sitting with legs crossed engrossed in his story.  Then, I could probably become more focused on what he is saying instead of what is around him.  But, then again, that’s me.  Older students; auditory learners; and those tuned into technology; may prefer hearing the story read rather than reading it themselves.  I’m just “old school” ~ I want the book in MY hands!













About robinmclark

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