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In Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, the central character is Bod, which is short for "Nobody." His last name is Owens, named for the married ghost-couple that agrees to raise him.
When he is a baby, Bod's parents and sister are murdered, but Bod has innocently wandered away (losing his diaper on the way) from the scene of the murder before the killer can dispose of him as well.
Mrs. Owens never had children of her own. The spirit of Bod's dead mother appears as the murderer tries to gain entrance into the graveyard. To Mrs. Owens she says:
My baby! He is trying to harm my baby!...Protect my son!
Mrs. Owens knows this is the baby's mother—and she believes that it is her duty to care for the boy—because she has given the boy's mother her word. With her husband's agreement, she talks to the others in the graveyard who debate the issue of "adopting" a living child until the Lady on the Grey tells them:
The dead should have charity.
Silas is the character who is not quite a ghost, but certainly an other-worldly character. He is able to move between the graveyard and the world of the living, so it is he who provides Bod with food, and eventually, clothes. He is Bod's guardian.
His guardian could always be counted upon to explain matters clearly and lucidly and as simply as Bod needed in order to understand.
Another character is Miss Lupescu. At first Bod does not like this odd and strict teacher who comes to replace Silas when he needs to "take a trip." She is a werewolf (actually a Hound of God), but Bod does not find this out until he finds himself in deep trouble.
And now, bounding toward [the ghouls] across the desert floor in the shadow of Ghulheim, a huge grey beast, like an enormous dog.
The dog spoke, in Miss Lupescu's voice.
When Bod is young, he meets a girl about his age named Scarlett who often visits the graveyard. Soon she moves away, but later comes back into Bod's life. However, she really has no way to understand this young man who has lived a very different life than she has.
Finally there is the killer Jack. At the beginning of the story, it is unclear why he killed Bod's family, but what becomes obvious before too long is that he refuses to give up. If he can find Bod, Jack will finish what he started and kill him.
Bod grows up in the cemetery with Freedom of the Graveyard—the power to see what ghosts see. He moves throughout the graveyard, visits the ghosts and spirits, learns of other creatures that also abide there, is taught to read and write, learns to love those who are like his family, and is protected from Jack.
how about the group of ghouls
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