★★★★☆ 1/2 – CALSPIE 9.00
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fiction / Middle Grade / Horror
First published: 2002
Edition: paperback, published by Bloomsbury in 2013
There is something strange about Coraline’s new home. It’s not the mist, or the cat that always seems to be watching her, nor the signs of danger that Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, her new neighbours, read in the tea leaves. It’s the other house – the one behind the old door in the drawing room. Another mother and father with black-button eyes and papery skin are waiting for Coraline to join them there. And they want her to stay with them. For ever.
When I said I was going to read this, my 10 year old daughter asked whether we could read it together. So we did, and it made the experience all the more special. It was also interesting to see her reaction to the story vs mine.
I think what this novel does extremely well is know just how far to push the horror elements for children to be able to be okay with it. That’s a skill for sure. I definitely felt this novel had some really nightmarish elements, but at no point does it push those too far. It does an excellent job of being kind of scary, but not terrifying to a ten-year-old. The drawings by Chris Riddell at the beginning of each chapter really helped visualize the story. My daughter really enjoyed those as well.
As for myself, I really enjoyed the way this was written and had I not read it with my youngster I still would have loved it. It’s just wonderfully creepy and Coraline is a great character to spend time with.
4.5 out of 5 stars
- Characters: 9
- Ambience: 9
- Language: 9
- Story: 9
- Pacing: 9
- Interest: 9
- Enjoyment: 9
2 thoughts on “Book Thoughts: Coraline (Neil Gaiman)”
Coraline terrified my youngest son – he wouldn’t even keep it on his bookshelf! Have you read The Wolves in the Walls? It too is beautifully scary.
Oh no! Poor guy! My daughter is ten, so she is not super young anymore. She seemed to enjoy the scare factor. I haven’t heard of Wolves in the Walls – I will look it up!