In Neil Gaiman’s novel for young readers titled The Graveyard Book, various characters help Bod come of age. These characters include the following:
- Mr. and Mrs. Owens, who become surrogate parents for the orphaned Bod. They raise him as their own child and help teach him the ways of the graveyard.
- Silas, who assists the Owenses in raising Bod, especially since he can leave the graveyard (as they cannot) and thus can help find food for Bod. He functions as Bod’s “guardian.”
- Miss Lupescu, who teaches Bod much arcane information that eventually proves very useful to him, such as
long lists of strange facts, such as the ways to call for help in every language in the world. [see link below]
- Liza Hempstock, who helps Bod escape when he is captured.
- Scarlett Amber Perkins, who tries to help Bod learn about his past.
One of the most touching episodes in The Graveyard Book occurs near its very end, when Bod is preparing to leave the graveyard and says goodbye to his adoptive parents and to Silas. He knows how much they have helped him, and it is obvious how deeply they love Bod. As Mr. Owens says to him,
“Mistress Owens and I spent our lives wishing that we had a child. I do not believe that we could ever have had a better young man than you, Bod.” He looked up at his son with pride.
Likewise, when Bod shortly afterward speaks of Silas as his guardian, Silas replies,
“I was your guardian. But you are old enough to guard yourself.”
The characters most important in helping Bod grow up and mature believe, by the end of the book, that he has matured indeed.