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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Death

We love to see the dead and the living hanging out together. It just doesn’t happen often enough. But, there are all these tricky borders between the living and the dead that keep getting in the...

Community

Have you ever heard the saying "It takes a village to raise a child"?  That just means that it's not only parents who raise kids, but everyone in a community – the aunts, uncles, grandparent...

Good vs. Evil

This is always a fun theme, because it forces us to think about our opinions on good and evil. Neil Gaiman does an excellent job of this in The Graveyard Book. First of all, many of the good guys a...

Youth

The Graveyard Book celebrates youth and helps us feel the magic of childhood all throughout. In many ways, Bod’s childhood is a childhood like anyone’s. But because we know that Bod came this c...

Memory and the Past

A graveyard is a way for the living to remember the dead, right? In The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman flips the script and says that maybe the dead need (and want) to be remembered as much as the liv...

Compassion and Forgiveness

Bod and the graveyard people who raise him all learn a lot about compassion and forgiveness through the process. They learn that the impossible can be possible when it comes to helping out a fellow...

The Supernatural

We get a satisfying dose of the supernatural in The Graveyard Book. If you’re craving mummies, vampires, ghosts, ghouls, werewolves, snaky beings at the bottoms of hills, and much more, then this...

Fate and Free Will

Thousands of years ago, someone predicted that Bod (or kid a lot like Bod) would destroy the Jacks. Because of this prediction, we can’t help but look at The Graveyard Book in terms of fate and f...

Strength and Skill

Bod works hard to learn skills from all of the talented people around him. The Graveyard Book is definitely a novel about working and studying hard to master skills that are necessary in life. In a...
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