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Friday, June 11, 2010

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Harper Trophy/Harper Collins
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Age Recommendation: 10+
Length: Full Length (162 pgs)
Rating: 5 suns
Reviewed by Cholla

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wits and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

A door is just a door, right? Not when you’re a dissatisfied young girl looking for adventure, it isn’t. And that’s exactly what Coraline finds when she sneaks the keys to the locked door in the parlor -- adventure. From that moment forward, nothing is ever as it seems. And suddenly, the world isn’t the safe, warm place she once believed it to be.

Coraline is your typical elementary school girl. She loves to be the center of her parents' attention and to explore the world around her. Although her curiosity and boredom do almost get the best of her during this story, she is smart enough to pull herself out of the trouble she created. With the love of her parents, her stubborn will, and an assortment of odd characters, she puts all the puzzle pieces together and saves herself. Coraline’s character really develops during this short novel. She learns a lot about the dangers surrounding her little home and in the greater, wilder world around her. She learns to draw on resources she normally would write off and becomes a wiser and more cautious child for it all.

Neil Gaiman has long been one of my favorite authors of adult fiction. To find such a wonderfully written story for a much younger audience made me extremely happy. He has an amazing way of weaving the dark and supernatural into our world and giving it a place to stay, as if it has been there all along. We just haven’t opened our eyes wide enough to notice it yet is all. Coraline is no exception. Despite the age group it was written for, he delves into the dark and creepy with ease, finding the things that would most appeal to – and frighten – a child. Possibly not the best choice for a more sensitive child, it does have its frightening moments, although never gruesome. Best read with the lights on, Coraline is a sure fire hit for any adventurous child.

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