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Coraline
Cover of Coraline
Coraline
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New York Times bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman's modern classic, Coraline—also an Academy Award-nominated film

"Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house...."

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 wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Neil Gaiman's Coraline is a can't-miss classic that enthralls readers age 8 to 12 but also adults who enjoy a perfect smart spooky read.

New York Times bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman's modern classic, Coraline—also an Academy Award-nominated film

"Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house...."

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 wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Neil Gaiman's Coraline is a can't-miss classic that enthralls readers age 8 to 12 but also adults who enjoy a perfect smart spooky read.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.1
  • Lexile:
    740
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • Fairy Tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten
    -- G.K. Chesterton.

    Chapter One

    Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.

    It was a very old house -- it had an attic under the roof and a cellar under the ground and an overgrown garden with huge old trees in it.

    Coraline's family didn't own all of the house, it was too big for that. Instead they owned part of it.

    There were other people who lived in the old house.

    Miss Spink and Miss Forcible lived in the flat below Coraline's, on the ground floor. They were both old and round, and they lived in their flat with a number of ageing highland terriers who had names like Hamish and Andrew and Jock. Once upon a time Miss Spink and Miss Forcible had been actresses, as Miss Spink told Coraline the first time she met her.

    "You see, Caroline," Miss Spink said, getting Coraline's name wrong, "Both myself and Miss Forcible were famous actresses, in our time. We trod the boards, luvvy. Oh, don't let Hamish eat the fruit cake, or he'll be up all night with his tummy."

    "It's Coraline. Not Caroline. Coraline," said Coraline.

    In the flat above Coraline's, under the roof, was a crazy old man with a big moustache. He told Coraline that he was training a mouse circus. He wouldn't let anyone see it.

    "One day, little Caroline, when they are all ready, everyone in the whole world will see the wonders of my mouse circus. You ask me why you cannot see it now. Is that what you asked me?"

    "No," said Coraline quietly, "I asked you not to call me Caroline. It's Coraline."

    "The reason you cannot see the Mouse Circus," said the man upstairs, "is that the mice are not yet ready and rehearsed. Also, they refuse to play the songs I have written for them. All the songs I have written for the mice to play go oompah oompah. But the white mice will only play toodle oodle, like that. I am thinking of trying them on different types of cheese."

    Coraline didn't think there really was a mouse circus. She thought the old man was probably making it up.

    The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring.

    She explored the garden. It was a big garden: at the very back was an old tennis court, but no-one in the house played tennis and the fence around the court had holes in it and the net had mostly rotted away; there was an old rose garden, filled with stunted, flyblown rose-bushes; there was a rockery that was all rocks; there was a fairy ring, made of squidgy brown toadstools which smelled dreadful if you accidentally trod on them.

    There was also a well. Miss Spink and Miss Forcible made a point of telling Coraline how dangerous the well was, on the first day Coraline's family moved in, and warned her to be sure she kept away from it. So Coraline set off to explore for it, so that she knew where it was, to keep away from it properly.

    She found it on the third day, in an overgrown meadow beside the tennis court, behind a clump of trees -- a low brick circle almost hidden in the high grass. The well had been covered up by wooden boards, to stop anyone falling in. There was a small knot-hole in one of the boards, and Coraline spent an afternoon dropping pebbles and acorns through the hole, and waiting, and counting, until she heard the plop as they hit the water, far below.

    Coraline also explored for animals. She found a hedgehog, and a snake-skin (but no snake), and a rock that looked just like a frog, and a toad that looked just like a rock.

    There was also a haughty black cat, who would sit on walls and tree stumps, and watch her; but would slip away if ever she went over to try to play with it.

About the Author-
  • Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book. Among his numerous literary awards are the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Originally from England, he now lives in America.

Reviews-
  • DOGO Books cool_girl101 - I really want to read the novel and watch the movie. I watched the trailer and its creepy. in the other world everyone has buttons for their eyes. at the end the other mother turns evil and stuff. but do u know y they have buttons for their eyes because coraline's doll has them. I think this book and the movie is awesome. everything is awesome!
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 4, 2003

    When a girl moves into an old house, she finds a door leading to a world that eerily mimics her own, but with sinister differences. "An electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons," wrote PW
    in a boxed review. Ages 8-up.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 24, 2002
    British novelist Gaiman (American Gods; Stardust) and his long-time accomplice McKean (collaborators on a number of Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels as well as The Day I Swapped My Dad for 2 Goldfish) spin an electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons.After Coraline and her parents move into an old house, Coraline asks her mother about a mysterious locked door. Her mother unlocks it to reveal that it leads nowhere: "When they turned the house into flats, they simply bricked it up," her mother explains. But something about the door attracts the girl, and when she later unlocks it herself, the bricks have disappeared. Through the door, she travels a dark corridor (which smells "like something very old and very slow") into a world that eerily mimics her own, but with sinister differences. "I'm your other mother," announces a woman who looks like Coraline's mother, except "her eyes were big black buttons." Coraline eventually makes it back to her real home only to find that her parents are missing—they're trapped in the shadowy other world, of course, and it's up to their scrappy daughter to save them. Gaiman twines his taut tale with a menacing tone and crisp prose fraught with memorable imagery ("Her other mother's hand scuttled off Coraline's shoulder like a frightened spider"), yet keeps the narrative just this side of terrifying. The imagery adds layers of psychological complexity (the button eyes of the characters in the other world vs. the heroine's increasing ability to distinguish between what is real and what is not; elements of Coraline's dreams that inform her waking decisions). McKean's scratchy, angular drawings, reminiscent of Victorian etchings, add an ominous edge that helps ensure this book will be a real bedtime-buster. Ages 8-up.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from July 1, 2008
    Gr 6-8-This adaptation of Neil Gaimans novel (HarperCollins, 2002) reads as though it were intended for the graphic novel format in the first place. Insatiably curious Coraline is an explorer dedicated to discovering everything she can about the area around her familys new home. When she comes upon a door in their flat that seems to go nowhere, enters an alternate world that at first is full of interesting things and delicious foodseverything that she has longed for. However, the dangerous creature therecalled the other mother intends to keep her forever. After Coralines parents are kidnapped into the other world, she sets off on a mission to rescue them. Russells illustrations suit the tone of the story perfectly, from the horrific black button eyes of the people in the other world to Coralines very telling facial expressions. The style is realistic, which makes the moments when the other world loses its solidity even more eerie. The pacing never lags, and Coralines transformation into a girl who understands that having everything you want is the least interesting thing of all is natural. For readers who enjoyed the novel, Coraline is sure to complement their reading experience. Those who come to the book first as a graphic novel will be just as captivated."Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT"

    Copyright 2008 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from January 15, 2009
    Master fantasist Gaiman's creepy and wonderful 2002 all-ages novel "Coraline" won Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards. Acclaimed illustrator Russellwho previously collaborated with Gaiman on the beautiful "Ramadan" issue of "Sandman", the Eisner Award-winning "Death" from "Sandman: Endless Nights", and a superb comics version of Gaiman's prose story "Murder Mysteries"here presents an excellent graphic novel adaptation of Coraline's story. When she and her parents move into an old house, the imaginative, adventurous, precocious, and neglected young Coraline discovers a door that leads only to a brick wall. But when she opens the door one night, the wall has disappeared. When she goes through, Coraline finds a home just like her own, only better, where her other mother and father (who look like the real ones, except for the big black buttons they have for eyes) want her to stay forever. When Coraline decides against this, her other mother kidnaps her real parents, and Coraline must brave unknown dangers to save them. Russell appropriately mutes the bright colors he's known for and faithfully preserves much of Gaiman's text and his tone of understated horror (and humor). Because a "Coraline" film is scheduled for early 2009, expect much interest. Highly recommended.S.R.

    Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 15, 2008
    Russell, a 35-year veteran of comics and frequent collaborator with Gaiman, offers an adaptation of Gaimans 2002 novel Coraline (illustrated by Dave McKean), a tale of childhood nightmares. As in the original story, Coraline wanders around her new house and discovers a door leading into a mirror place, where she finds her button-eyed other mother, who is determined to secure Coralines love one way or another. This version is a virtuoso adaptation, streamlining passages that function best in prose and visually highlighting parts that benefit most from the graphic form. A master of fantastical landscapes, Russell sharpens the realism of his imagery, preserving the humanity of the characters and heightening horror, even as Gaimans concise storytelling ratchets up the eeriness. The adaptation loses none of Coralines original character; shes clever, resourceful, intrepid, and highly determined when it comes to doing what must be done. Comics fans will delight in this version, and readers familiar with the previous book will greatly appreciate the opportunity to explore the story in a successful new way.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

  • Booklist

    August 1, 2002
    Gr. 5-8. Coraline has recently moved with her preoccupied parents into a flat in an old house. The neighbors above and below are odd but friendly: Mr. Bobo trains mice; elderly Misses Spink and Forcible serve her tea and tell her fortune. No one lives in the flat next door. But Coraline knows better, and one evening she discovers what's there: a tantalizing alternate world, filled with toys and food (unlike any of the boring stuff she has at home) and weird-- though wonderfully attentive--parents, who happen to have black button eyes sewn on with dark thread. Although her "other parents" beg her to stay, she decides to leave, but by doing so Coraline sets in motion a host of nightmarish events that she must remedy alone. Gaiman, well known for his compelling adult horror novels (see "The Booklist Interview," opposite), seems less sure of himself with a younger age group. His "nowhere wonderland" setting (think Alice on acid) is magical, deliciously eerie, and well captured in the text and in McKean's loose, angular sketches. But the goings-on are murky enough to puzzle some kids and certainly creepy enough to cause a few nightmares (ignore the publisher's suggestion that this is suitable for eight-year-olds). What's more, Coraline is no naive Alice. She's a bundle of odd contradictions that never seem to gel--confident, outspoken, self-sufficient one moment; a whiny child the next. Gaiman's construct offers a chilling and empowering view of children, to be sure, but young readers are likely to miss such subtleties as the clever allusions to classic horror movies and the references to the original dark tales by the Brothers Grimm. Gaiman has written an often-compelling horror novel, but, as with so many adult authors who attempt to reach young readers, his grasp of his audience is less sure than his command of his material.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2002, American Library Association.)

  • New York Times Book Review "A modern ghost story with all the creepy trimmings...Well done."
  • Philip Pullman, The Guardian "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, rise to your feet and applaud: Coraline is the real thing."
  • Diana Wynne Jones "The most splendidly original, weird, and frightening book I have read, and yet full of things children will love."
  • Globe and Mail (Toronto) "So wonderfully whimsical that readers of all ages will hungrily devour itCoraline is destined to become a classic.
  • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "A frighteningly realistic fantasy. Lean crisp prose adds to the suspense and propels the story, and the eerie black-and-white illustrations by Dave McKean heighten the nightmarish quality of the tale."
  • Washington Post Book World "Gaiman's tale is inventive, scary, thrilling and finally affirmative. Readers young and old will find something to startle them."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A magnificently creepy story. Coraline is spot on."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Gaiman's pacing is superb, and he steers the tension of the tale with a deft and practiced narrative touch."
  • Times Educational Supplement "Chilly, finely-wrought prose, a truly weird setting and a fable that taps into our most uncomfortable fears."
  • Christian Science Monitor "Beautifully spooky. Gaiman actually seems to understand the way children think. "
  • Orson Scott Card "A deliciously scary book that we loved reading together as a family."
  • School Library Journal (starred review) "Kids will hang on every word. Coraline is a character with whom they will surely identify, and they will love being frightened out of their shoes. This is just right for all those requests for a scary book."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "An electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons."
  • Terry Pratchett "It has the delicate horror of the finest fairy tales, and it is a masterpiece."
  • San Francisco Chronicle Book Review "Coraline is by turns creepy and funny, bittersweet and playful...can be read quickly and enjoyed deeply."
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