Monday, August 10, 2009


Gaiman, Neil. Ills. Dave McKean. Coraline. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2002.
[Book cover credit:]

Bram Stoker Award, Work for Young Readers (2002)
British Science Fiction Association Award, Short Fiction (2002)
Carnegie Medal Nominee (2002)
American Library Association Notable Children's Book (2003)
Hugo, Novella (2003)
Nebula, Novella (2003)
ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (2005)

Coraline's family's new apartment has a door that leads to nowhere. Behind it is a brick wall. Naturally, Coraline must find out what is on the other side of that wall. When she does, she finds another mother, who cooks better food, another father, who is never too busy to play with her, and a bedroom very much like her own, except that the toys are much better. Sounds great, right? Well, everything does until you're told it's all you get. When Coraline realizes that the Other Mother wants to keep her for herself, trapped in this other apartment, Coraline must figure out a way to get out and get everything back to normal, which really wasn't all that bad now that she thinks about it.

Coraline, like Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland before it, tells the story of a young girl who leaves her home for something more fantastical and exciting only to find out that what she had to begin with was pretty great. Of course, now that she's figured that out, she can't get back. Gaiman manages to take this trope and make it new and creepy and exciting. It's also missing that heavy dose of appreciate-what-you-have lesson that is present in many tellings of this type of story.

I read this in a day and loved every minute of it. I gave it to the girlfriend to read. She usually ignores my you-must-read-this-book advice where non-adult books are concerned. She read this and loved it too. If that's not a glowing recommendation, I don't know what is. :)

Book source: College library

No comments: