Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2002.

Plot Description:
            Coraline is an explorer.  When her parents move into a new flat, with Mr. Bobo and his mouse circus upstairs and Misses Spink and Forcible below, she takes it upon herself to learn all about her new house.  Including the mysterious door in the parlor which opens to a brick wall.  After hearing strange noises one night, Coraline opens the door to find not the wall, but a corridor leading to another flat.  A flat with her other mother and other father.  Where things are just a bit different from her real life.  Where everything is full of menace and traps. Coraline will have to outwit this evil version of her mother to get back to her real home, but will she be able to?

            I found Coraline to be an excellent.  Well written and engaging, the book is suspenseful and a big frightening without being overly so.  It touches on the themes of imagination and family, as well as the concept of a parallel universe. My favorite part was where Coraline is talking to other mother and the other mother offers her everything she has ever wanted and Coraline states that she doesn’t want everything because then nothing is special.  I thought that this demonsrated wisdom beyond young Coraline’s years, though on a number of occasions Coraline shows remarkable clarity and intelligence.  A really good book for both boys and girls.

Genre: Horror

Reading level: 4th-5th Grade

Similar Books: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Alice in Wonderland

Reader’s Advisory:
Personal thoughts- good horror story that is not too gruesome or violent
Subjects/themes- Fiction, Horror, Parallel Worlds, Rats, Cats, Family
Awards- 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella, 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novella, 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers
Character names/descriptions-
            Coraline- young girl who finds a parallel world on the other side of a door
Other Mother- Coraline’s mother in the parallel universe, turns out to be evil, has buttons for eyes
            Misses Spink and Forcible- former actresses who give Coraline a rock for
            Mr. Bobo- upstairs neighbor who has a mouse circus
Annotation: Sometimes opening a door can be the wrong move to make.

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