Coraline – Neil Gaiman

coraline bookREAD FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Sophia

A children’s horror in which a girl called Coraline travels to another world through a mysterious locked door in the living room. 

☁ “A young girl called Coraline fancies herself an explorer and spends the first weeks of the summer holidays investigating every inch of her family’s property. The spooky neighbours, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible tell her fortune and say she is grave danger. One rainy day, Coraline discovers a locked door which has been bricked up and leads nowhere.

However, she is drawn to it and one day when her parents are away, she unlocks the door and discovers the bricks are gone. Inside is an apartment just like hers, occupied by a woman and man who describe themselves as her other mother and other father. Though they treat her well they subversively attempt to make her stay in their parallel world. To do so, she would need buttons sewn over her eyes, as they have.

When Coraline returns to her world she finds that her parents are missing. Coraline realises she must draw on her own bravery to re-enter the other mother’s world in order to rescue her parents.

“How do I know you’ll keep your word?” asked Coraline.
“I swear it,” said the other mother. “I swear it on my own mother’s grave.”
“Does she have a grave?” asked Coraline.
“Oh yes,” said the other mother. “I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back.”

Despite the horror genre, Coraline is a children’s book, marketed at a 8-12 year old audience. Yet all the freerangers admitted to being spooked by this book, some more than others, but we all agreed we thought it too scary for 8-12 year olds.

The structure with one main plot and little in the way of sub-plots, and the narrative styled on an adults voice gave the book strong direction which would hold a young person’s attention. However we just can’t get over the other parents with buttons sewn over their eyes !!

Published 2002
Harper Collins
162 pages

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