The Graveyard Book

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Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.

He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.

But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family. . . .

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, the graveyard book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

Curriculet Details
72 Questions
58 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for middle school students contains images and interactive videos exploring point of view, mood, and characterization, as well as annotations describing the setting, dialect, and themes. Students will explore the themes of mortality, education and family. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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1

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
Author Neil Gaiman is a master of using imagery, the technique of describing a scene using all five senses. Editors often say, "Show, don't tell" to encourage writers to use more imagery in their writing. How does the author use imagery to create a creepy mood in this scene? 
"The fog wreathed around him like a long-lost friend" is an example of another figurative technique called personification. Personification is when an author assigns a non-human THING (in this case, fog) human QUALITIES (in this case, wrapping itself around someone like a friend). Keep your eye out for more uses of personification in this book. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6
The point of view in this passage is rare in most literature. It is 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Why does the author describe this new ghost as a "raw, flickering, startling shape the grey color of television static?" 
Caius Pompeius is a fictional character, but the Pompeius family lived in Rome from about 150 BCE to 100 CE. The image below of a Roman politician may show how Pompeius looked. (This annotation contains an image)
These lines are an example of parallel structure, when an author repeats key words to intensify a point. "The man Jack was tall. This man was taller. The man Jack wore dark clothes. This man's clothes were darker." What do these lines show about the new stranger? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
What did the stranger do to the man Jack? 
A manor is a type of English estate. Manor houses in England are often large, attractive, well-made houses.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
The type of language that Josiah Worthington, Bart., uses in this passage shows a little bit about his character. Make an inference. What kind of character do you think Mr. Josiah Worthington is? 
Make a prediction. What do you think the Freedom of the Graveyard will be?  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
From the context, what is the best synonym for the word dubiously? 
Tone and mood are words that describe the feelings in a story. Tone is the way an author describes something, and mood is the way the reader feels while reading it. This video below will give you more information about the difference between mood and tone. (This annotation contains a video)
Horses are measured using a unit called "hands." Each hand is 4 inches. Horses are measured from hooves to withers, as shown in the picture. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
Luminescence shares the root "lum" with the words luminous, illuminate, and luminary.  What does the root lum- mean? 
The highlighted sentence is an example of a simile, when an author uses a strong comparison or image to make a point. Similes are distinct from metaphors because similes use the words like, as, or than. The video below shows the difference between similes and metaphors, using examples from pop music. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
"The morning rain came down like tears" is an example of what kind of figurative language? 

2

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
It's clear by now that Bod will be raised in the graveyard by ghosts. Make a prediction: What skills will the ghosts teach him? Use evidence from the text in your answer. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
From the context, which of the following is closest to the meaning of dowdy and drab? 
A winding sheet, used to wrap a dead body. Below you see a statue of a man in his winding sheet. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
In these pages, the author has created a lot of imagery around the colors of the two children. What is the symbolism or significance of the way the author describes Bod's and Scarlett's appearance? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6
Describe why Scarlett is so upset. What is the misunderstanding between them? 
Funerals for important ancient Romans were huge affairs. Paid actors, wearing masks that looked like the dead person's relatives, would act out scenes at the funeral. The image below is a carved funeral scene. Can you find the actors? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
The mood in this scene would best be described as  
A funeral barrow.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Describe why Scarlett compares the Indigo man to a scarecrow. Use evidence from the text in your answer. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
The highlighted sentence is one of the themes of the story.  Which of the following is the best way to paraphrase this sentence? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6
Which technique does the author use to make this scene come alive? 
An amphitheater is a seating area in a half or full circle. Graveyards occasionally have them for funerals. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
Silas' reaction to Bod's adventure inside the burial mound can best be described as 
Quiz #1 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6
How do Scarlett and Bod see this farewell differently? Use textual evidence to describe each character's perspective in this scene. 

3

This passage returns to the rare second person point of view that we saw in the first chapter. This video tells you a little bit more about the different points of view in literature. What point of view is the rest of the story in? Why do you think the author occasionally switches into this point of view? (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
In this sentence, the word unperturbed probably means 
A mackintosh is a long coat. In America, these are usually called trench coats. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Compare Ms. Lupescu and Silas. How are they different? How are they alike? 
How does Bod feel about his teacher and his "parents?" Have you ever felt this way? (This annotation contains an image)
"Piebald" means spotted or blotched. Often used to describe animal hair patterns, human skin can also be patterned this way. (This annotation contains an image)
The ghouls speak in a Cockney accent from the British lower classes.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
"This was an angry, glowering red" is an example of what kind of figurative language? 
Ichor, in Greek mythology, is the blood of gods and demons. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
The author probably included this detail to 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
The ghouls eat 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
Mr. Owens has an expression for being between two unpleasant things, "Between the devil and the deep blue sea," and Bod creates a new version, "Between the ghouls and the monster."  Which common saying expresses the same idea? 
This is a fan image of the night-gaunt rescuing Bod.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Night-gaunts, giant dogs, and ghosts! One important feature of this story is the way the author changes our ideas about graveyards.  Which of the following describes this best? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
How has Bod's relationship with Ms. Lupescu changed? Use textual evidence in your answer. 

4

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Mrs. Owens is 
This phrase is one of the story's central ideas, as all of the ghosts behave pretty much as they did before they died. Do you think it's true that no matter where you go, you essentially stay the same? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
What is the meaning of these long descriptions in italics? 
A perfect red apple is a strong symbol of temptation. What other stories have an apple that represents temptation? (This annotation contains an image)
In the 16th and 17th century, girls and women suspected of witchcraft were put through trials, such as being burned and thrown in water, to "prove" they weren't witches. Many women died this way. A "cucking" (ducking) stool was the chair that a woman was tied into before throwing her into water to see if she would drown. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
This phrase is an example of 
A little junk shop in South London.  (This annotation contains an image)
There's a double meaning in this word! Highlight it and use Curriculet's "Define" function to see the second meaning. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Mr. Abanazer Bolger changed quickly from the beginning of this scene to now. How and why did Mr. Bolger change? Use evidence from the text in your answer. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
Liza was buried in "unhallowed" ground. Given what you know about the word unhallowed, what must the word hallowed mean? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
"Jack" refers to 
This is a reference to an old English nursery rhyme called "Oranges and Lemons." (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Why does Liza cast a spell on Bod? 
Once again, the author "flips the script" on how we're supposed to feel about ghosts and humans. Although we're taught to be afraid of ghosts and witches, it's humans that do the most terrible things in this book. Where else does the author show humans doing awful things and ghosts and monsters doing nice things? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Why would the snake-heads on the brooch have a look of "triumph" and "satisfaction?" Think about where it came from, and use textual evidence in your answer. 
Many "treasures" found by explorers are artifacts that belong in tombs or to the communities that created them. Do you think it's okay for treasure-hunters to take "buried treasure" for their own? Are you glad Bod brought the brooch back? Below: Treasure from King Tut's tomb in Egypt. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Why does Liza want a headstone so badly? 

5

Egypt was a British colony and many English gardens and parks include Egyptian-style statues and buildings. (This annotation contains an image)
The Danse Macabre, or the Dance of Death, is a subject of many medieval paintings. It was intended to show equality-- no matter who you are in life, "All must dance the Macabray" or "Everyone must die." (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
This phrase is an example of  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
In music, a prelude is 
Another image of the Danse Macabre shows the living dancing with the dead.  (This annotation contains an image)
Even Disney has gotten in on the act, with this early cartoon in 1929 called "The Skeleton Dance!" (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
The scene of the Macabray, or the Danse Macabre, shows which theme of the story? 
The Lady on the Grey, who says that "all shall ride" her horse one day, is very mysterious. Many readers think that she represents Death, like a female version of the Grim Reaper (shown below). (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #2 

Interlude

A "convocation" is any large, formal assembly of people, like a graduation or a conference. Before even reading this chapter, what do you predict "The Convocation" will be for? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
How does the author bring the scene to life for the reader? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Who went to San Francisco earlier in the story? 

6

"Apoplexy" was a catch-all diagnosis for centuries, used to describe anyone who suddenly lost consciousness. Most deaths attributed to apoplexy were probably strokes or heart attacks. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Compare the way Thackeray Porringer died with his personality as a ghost. What is similar? Are there any differences? Use textual evidence in your answer. 
Why do you think Bod is suddenly nervous? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
What do these two sentences do for the story? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
How does this scene, and particularly the last few sentences, show how Bod is changing? Use textual evidence in your answer. 
Copperplate handwriting. The image below is handwritten, believe it or not! Imagine what you would think of a child who wrote this way.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
This very descriptive passage gives us an introduction to Nick Farthing and Maureen Quilling. Based on this passage, which of the following best summarizes Nick and Maureen's relationship? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Why is Nick unhappy? 
Do you believe that fear is contagious? Have you ever had this experience, of "catching" fear from another person in a spooky situation? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
How does the author show the busy feeling of the graveyard full of ghosts in his writing? 
In England and some other parts of the world, "grades" are referred to as "years." So "year sevens" are in their seventh year of school and are between 11 and 13. Below: a group of Year Sevens at an Australian school. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
What graveyard skill is Bod probably using? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Briefly describe how the graveyard has become Bod's family. What evidence shows that they are everything family is supposed to be? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Bod is changing. What shows that he is beginning to rebel against his graveyard family? 
"A bollocking" is a British term for a lecture, or being shouted at or punished. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
What does this sentence mean? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Why doesn't anyone notice Bod at school? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
The "mood" of a story or a scene is how the reader feels while reading. The mood of this scene is 
Author Neil Gaiman has said that he got the idea for The Graveyard Book from "practically living" in the library as a kid. In some ways, the graveyard is like a library. How do the two compare? (This annotation contains an image)

7

"Nimeni" (a slight spelling difference) means "no one" in Romanian, perhaps giving us a clue about Ms. Lupescu's origins. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
What lesson does the author want the readers to take away about learning and education? 
Have you ever experienced deja vu? What was it like? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Why does Scarlett decide to go with the man? 
Using paper and a pencil or crayon to do a grave rubbing is a way to preserve an image of a headstone. This video will teach you how to do your own! This technique also works for fossils, monuments, and any relatively flat, textured object. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
What does this story of Mr. Owens' suggest about Liza's behavior? 
Terpsichore, Echo, and Clytemnestra were Muses-- Greek spirits that inspired artists to do great work. There were nine Muses in all, each one inspiring a different form of art. This relief from a poet's coffin shows the nine Muses. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Leander and Hero were famous lovers in Greek myth, and Alexander was a powerful ancient king. Why does the poet compare Bod to these heroes, and Scarlett to the Muses? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
In this sentence, approbation probably means 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Why is Bod unconvinced by Nehemiah Trot's "revenge?" 
In Great Britain, "biscuits" are what in the U.S are called "cookies." Below are some popular chocolate biscuits in England. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
This brief passage suddenly makes Silas seem like 
Fried fish and chips (french fries in the U.S.) is the most popular fast food in Great Britain. Great Britain is surrounded by ocean and seafood is one of the major food staples. (This annotation contains an image)
Microfiche is a technique to preserve fragile pages: images are scanned onto clear film, which is then viewed through a magnifying screen. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Briefly describe how the author makes Mr. Frost seem very ordinary and also creepy. Use evidence from the text in your answer. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
Which of the following meanings of "snare" fits best in this sentence? 
A row of ordinary red-brick terraced houses. (This annotation contains an image)
A tiny attic room with a crib. (This annotation contains an image)
Did you know that Mr. Frost was the man Jack? How did you know? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Giving the Jacks similar names, all taken from nursery rhymes and fairy tales (Jack-be-Nimble, Jack Frost, Jack Dandy) does what for the characters? 
A tiny chapel. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Which of the following describes teenage Scarlett? 
Make a prediction. How will this end? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
This grave is the 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
The Jacks are looking for Bod because of a 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
Why do Scarlett's thoughts include the phone she wants? What effect does it have on the mood of the scene? 
A fraternal order, or brotherhood, is like a club or society. Generally, "fraternal" (brotherly) orders only accept males. Below: Members of a modern fraternal order called the Shriners.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
The fact that Jack can hear the Sleer tells us 
Bod's search for a name is like Liza's search for a headstone; a search for identity and memory. (This annotation contains an image)
In the image below is a well-known quote. What connection can you make between this quote and what happened to the last man Jack? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
What is "the hardest thing to take" for Bod? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Do you believe this statement of Silas' is true for most people? Give a real-world example to support your answer. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Look at the image in the book: the Sleer, pizza, and Bod on a tombstone. Briefly describe the significance of each of these in the story. 

8

Red and yellow nasturtiums. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
How does this sentence function in the story? 
A huge steamer trunk. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Silas says nothing when Bod asks him what kind of borders he protects. What do you think the "borders" are that Silas guards? Use evidence from the text in your answer. 
Outside of the United States, "football" refers to the game that in the U.S. is called soccer. Below: English football (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #3