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The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
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The Graveyard Book Theme of 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 close to not making it past the baby stage of life, he seems particularly special. Oh, and because he lives in a graveyard and has all kinds of wild adventures in supernatural realms, romps with supernatural creatures, his life seems particularly exciting. He does enjoy his adventures, but he’s just as concerned with formal and not-so-formal education. He gets more concerned as he gets older and learns about his past.  The Graveyard Book is a classic coming-of-age story, and Bod leaves the graveyard pretty prepared for life in the real world. Or does he? What do you think?

Questions About Youth

  1. How does Bod’s childhood compare with your own, in terms of his basic feelings and emotions? Have you had similar feelings, like maybe wanting to run away from home sometimes?
  2. Do you think Bod is ready to live in the world completely by himself?
  3. Would you like a childhood like Bod’s? If you could pick and choose, are there some parts of his childhood you would keep? Are there some you would get rid of?
  4. How does school and education affect Bod’s childhood?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Bod’s childhood is really sad – he’s separated from children his own age, and doesn’t get to learn the skills that will help him in the real world.

Bod’s childhood is magical – he gets to have amazing adventures and he has a kind and loving community that’s devoted to him.

Next Page: Memory and the Past
Previous Page: Good vs. Evil

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