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Eighteen-month-old Bod’s mother, father, and sister are murdered by a man named Jack.
Awakened by the noise, Bod jumps out of his crib, leaves his home, and walks up the hill to the graveyard. (Thus, quietly escaping the killer.)
Bod is given Freedom of the Graveyard, and gets adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Owens. Silas agrees to become his guardian and arrange for his food, clothing, and education.
Four-year-old Bod learns to read and write. He also makes a new friend, Scarlett Amber Perkins.
Bod and Scarlett go to the Sleer’s barrow, meet the Indigo Man, and then run from the Sleer.
Bod and Scarlett say goodbye.
When Bod is about six years old, he gets a new teacher, Miss Lupescu, who is also a werewolf.
One day, when Bod is still six, he meets a gang of ghouls and goes down to Hell with them, where they live.
When Miss Lupescu saves him from becoming ghoul-meat, Bod learns to love and appreciate her.
When Bod is about eight years old, he meets Liza Hempstock, a witch who’s buried on the borders of the graveyard.
When he finds out that she’s sad because her gravesite isn’t neat and tidy, and she doesn’t have a headstone, he decides to get her one.
He steals the Sleer’s brooch and tries to trade it in, and ends up locked in a room by the greedy pawnbroker who wants Bod to lead him to more treasure.
With a little help from Liza, Bod escapes, goes back home, returns the Sleer’s brooch to the Sleer, and gives Liza the headstone she wants – what a day.
One winter, Bod goes to the Danse Macabre, a dance between the living and the dead that does not happen often.
When Bod is about ten years old, he learns that his family was murdered.
That same year, Bod goes to a regular school during the day. At school, he stops a gang of bullies, runs away from home, and gets arrested. He’s rescued by Silas and decides that maybe school isn’t the best place for him right now.
When Bod is fourteen years old, he’s reunited with his old friend Scarlett Amber Perkins.
Things are going great between them until Scarlett accidentally leads Bod face-to-face with the man who killed his family, Jack Frost.
Bod battles Jack Frost and three other Jacks in the graveyard and wins.
Unfortunately, Scarlett, whose life Bod saves by foiling Jack Frost, doesn’t approve of his ways. She calls him a monster and that’s the last Bod sees of her (for now?).
When Bod is fifteen years old, his graveyard family believes him ready to go out into the world of the living.
With money, a passport, and big dreams, Bod leaves the graveyard.