Tuesday, May 1, 2007

BOOK: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Well, this wasn't on my May reading list. I was at the library yesterday to get a school physics video, under strick self-imposed rules not to browse for books. Then my nine year old son wanted to go look for a book. This doesn't happen too often, so of course we go. There I spotted this Neil Gaiman book on a display. I hadn't realized that Coraline was a children's book. I gobbled it up tonight: swimming lessons meant a solid three quarters of an hour of uninterupted reading, and the book isn't terribly long anyway.

This was really creepy. It almost scary, because books don't really scare me - I've read all Stephen King, but this would be a super scary movie. I was picturing a Tim Burton type computer animated scare-fest while I was reading it. Spiders, rats, slugs, possessed hands, unknown things! This book has every creepy thing you can imagine.

Here's the book jacket summary:

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.
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, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. 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 and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.
Critically acclaimed and award-winning author Neil Gaiman will delight readers with his first novel for all ages

The main character Coraline was such a great character, such a kid. The black cat was an excellent supporting character. It was many of the details I really enjoyed - Coraline hates recipe food, the parents were somewhat distracted, and Coraline faced some fears and was brave - doing something even when you are afraid. This is a great story for kids, and now I have to try to convince my son to read it. However, the book he picked out was "The Day My Butt Went Crazy" or something like that. Could be a tough sell.


  1. How strange, I looked at this book yesterday on Amazon and didn't buy it when I realised it was a kids book - I'll have to keep an eye out for it next time I'm in the library.

  2. you're right, those little details are so nice, aren't they? the way she doesn't like her dad's recipes, the part of the nature programme she watches, the tea party...

    i really hope you got your son to read it though! i think it would really be wonderful for a kid to read.

    The Day My Butt Went Crazy?!?! hahaha! it sounds hilarious! is it really about what it suggests? who's it by?


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