Only it's different...
At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.
Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.
©2002 Neil Gaiman; (P)2002 HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.
"An electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons." (Publishers Weekly)
"The story is odd, strange, even slightly bizarre, but kids will hang on every word...and they will love being frightened out of their shoes. This is just right for all those requests for a scary book." (School Library Journal)
"A magnificently creepy story...for stouthearted kids who love a brush with the sinister, Coraline is spot on." (Kirkus Reviews)
I love a story that doesn't take a month to get to the point. And a thriller that gets to it is even better.
If I'm going to be creeped out, I need to really care about the character, so generally a book needs to spend some time introducing you and explaining why you like the protagonist. It's easier to do that if the protagonist is a child. Young enough that you can immediately like them and want them to win, but old enough that they aren't completely helpless (making their victory unbelievable). Gaiman has done this, and done it well.
Coraline is a nice girl. Too bad about creepy reflections of her parents that want to adopt her now that her real parents have gone missing.
The audio is fantastic. The singing rats were creepy. I loved the song that opened the reading. Kind of wished there was more to it.
My family listened to this book on the way back from vacation. The group consisted of my mother (62), myself (42) and my two sons (9 and 11). This story, as is typical of Neil Gaiman, was atmospheric, lyrical and always imaginative. My mother, who can be a talker, didn't interrupt the story even once. But, the story, which is about a girl's parents who are kidnapped by a fairy tale type character and replaced with strange reproductions, is pretty dark, and scary enough that my 9 year old asked if we could turn it off for a while at one point. Of course, the next time we got into the car, he wanted to hear the rest, so although frightening, it is still an involving story. So, if you have a particularly sensitive child, I would be careful with this book, but otherwise, I highly recommend it.
This story is one of my favorites and I am well outside the target age range! It's not scary so much as downright creepy- you'll never look at buttons the same way again. I don't think I'd recommend the book for really young children- about eight is the youngest I'd go- but I don't think there would be any problems with older children. As for the audio version, Neil Gaiman is the perfect narrator for this. He reads beautifully and maintains the creepy thrill without ever pushing the listener into real fear. Don't think I'd suggest Coraline as a bedtime story but it's perfect for afternoon reading time or on a car trip.
I didn't enjoy it as much as The Graveyard Book. However, it was creepy and interesting look at how a child would deal with creepiness. It's good if you like Gaiman.
Thank goodness for the British and their love of scaring the pants off of little kids. This book is CREEPY. It's very odd, as well. People compare it to "Alice in Wonderland" with good reason. The imagery is just as vivid, and the language just as good. However, I found Coraline to be much more disturbing. The things that happen about two hours in are disturbing enough to me as a 26 year old woman that I would strongly hesitate to give it to any child under 10, and that only for children who have never been afraid of the dark, or of rats...
Although this is ostensibly a children's book, I would hesitate to let my 10-year-old listen to it because it's really rather disturbing. For anyone older than ten, though, it's a lovely read, and Gaiman's narration adds a great deal. Coraline's dark adventure with the "other" mother is chilling and paced exquisitely. Highly recommended!
The only thing better than reading a Gaiman story is hearing the author himself read it. Coraline herself is resilient, loyal and courageous -- everything a girl should be.
I purchased this book for a weekend car trip with my teenagers and was worried that this book would be too childish for them. There was no need to worry. This book is quirky enough to draw kids and adults.
After Harry Potter, it is hard to find characters and worlds and books that are fun. This book gives me hope that there are many fine gems out there waiting to be found.
We did not find this book as scarey as some of the reviewers warned about. The book was strange without being too scarey.
I bought this book for my 13 year old daughter, and decided to read it first so that I could make sure it wasn't too scary, and so that we could talk about it. Even though I was on vacation, I couldn't put it down. Wonderfully spooky and evocative -- and delightfully scary (but not too scary). Now I have the audiobook for my daughter, and other kids in the family. By the way, she really liked it too!
....I was even a bit scared by it! What a great story...with an ending that didn't disappoint. I was expecting the ending to be a happy little fluffy ending but WAIT....there was more....how exciting and fabulous!!! Coraline was a wonderful and very smart heroine and the book had a lot of interesting and spooky and gooey and creepy twists and turns. It was so much fun to read that I decided to go out and check out the audio book at the library for my kids to listen to. How much fun was that to listen too???!!! Neil Gaiman narrates the book and he is wonderful.......just wait until you hear the rats sing.......creepy, creepy, creepy. My kids just ate it up.....they loved it and couldn't get enough of it!
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