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Coraline: The Graphic Novel Hardcover – June 24, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 6-8–This adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 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 family's 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 foods–everything that she has longed for. However, the dangerous creature there–called the other mother– intends to keep her forever. After Coraline's parents are kidnapped into the other world, she sets off on a mission to rescue them. Russell's illustrations suit the tone of the story perfectly, from the horrific black button eyes of the people in the other world to Coraline's 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 Coraline's 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
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Russell, a 35-year veteran of comics and frequent collaborator with Gaiman, offers an adaptation of Gaiman’s 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 Coraline’s 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 Gaiman’s concise storytelling ratchets up the eeriness. The adaptation loses none of Coraline’s original character; she’s 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. Grades 4-7. --Jesse Karp

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006082543X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060825430
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
Nobody can drench a book in creepy, dank atmosphere like Neil Gaiman -- and it doesn't matter if it's a kid's book.

And while some books are drained of their magic and mystery by being turned into graphic novels, "Coraline: The Graphic Novel" doesn't suffer from that problem. It's a haunting little dark fairy tale full of decayed apartments, dancing rats and eerie soulless doppelgangers, and P. Craig Russell graces Gaiman's story with lifelike, eerie illustrations.

Newly moved into an aged apartment, Coraline (not "Caroline" is bored. Her parents are too busy to do anything with her, and her neighbors are either insane or boring.

It's the sort of relentlessly dull world that any little girl would want to escape from -- until Coraline does. She encounters a formerly bricked-up door that leads into an apartment in another world, which looks eerily like her own. In fact, it's so similar that she has a taloned, button-eyed "other mother" and matching "other father," as well as a chorus of singing, dancing rats and magical toys.

At first Coraline is fascinated by the other world, especially since her other parents are very attentive. Then she finds her real parents sealed inside a mirror. With the help of a sarcastic cat, Coraline ventures back into the other world. But with her parents and a trio of dead children held hostage, Coraline's only hope is to gamble with her own freedom -- and she'll be trapped forever if she fails.

Neil Gaiman's writing is some of the most vivid and evocative that you'll find in literature, full of nightmarish details and creepy characters.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michele on April 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a graphic adaptation of Gaiman's original novel. It tells the story of Coraline, a curious young girl who discovers a secret door in her house. The door takes her to what seems like a duplicate of her house, with parents that look like hers but have buttons for eyes. They want to keep Coraline and she has to use her bravery and cleverness if she wants to escape from this other world and return to her own. This was the first graphic novel that I have read and I was very impressed. The artwork was done beautifully and really grasped your attention. My only complaint is that it took me much longer to read the book than I expected because I was so interested in every detail of the artwork. The story was very good, and would appeal to older children who enjoy fantasy and horror stories. Some of the pictures are frightening, so I would not recommend it for young children. I am now very interested in going to see the movie!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on January 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a graphic novel of an alternate reality and a girl who finds herself having to rescue her parents and her neighbors from the evil that is stalking her. Incredibly creepy, in that Coraline is all alone and must combat the fearsome menace by herself.

Graphics are creepy and disturbing and perfect for the story.

This book may be way too scary, suspenseful, and/or intense for some children. Parents should pre-read.

Maybe also try "The Ghosts" by Antonia Barber or "The Children of Green Knowe" by L. M. Boston -- neither one is as terrifying as Coraline.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Elisabeth Chance on September 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 10 year old daughter is not a big reader and given her age she's in the "between" stage. I read the book first and could not put it down. After I gave it to her, she could not put it down. She likes it so much she shows it to all of her friends. I definitely reccomend this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel V. Reilly VINE VOICE on October 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Upon moving into her new home, inquisitive young Coraline finds more than just eccentric neighbors and a lot of new places to explore....She finds a mysterious door, with a bricked-up passageway to the empty apartment next door behind it.

But it's only a bricked-up passageway sometimes......

Other times, it leads to a bizarre mirror-image of her new home, complete with "Others".. ...perfect duplicates of her real parents and neighbors....except for the long, sharp fingernails, and the black buttons sewn in place of their eyes......And they don't want Coraline to leave. They want her to stay with them, forever......Forever and ever and ever.

CORALINE is the new graphic novel adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, adapted and illustrated by the legendary P. Craig Russell. Russell has collaborated with Gaiman on four other projects before CORALINE, and his art is a perfect fit for this story. He can do mundane details of everyday life every bit as well as he can portray the more fantastic elements of the often-disturbing tale. The thing that struck me most while reading the book was how much Coraline herself looks like a real little girl. As an avid comic-book fan, I can tell you with some degree of certainty that 99% of comic artists can't draw a realistic-looking child to save their life. They usually look like shrunken adults, or oddly-formed midgets. Coraline not only looks right, but Russel also gives her all the quirks and tics a restless young girl would have in real-life. Just check out page 49, where Coraline is standing on one leg, holding the other leg up behind her....Brilliant little touches like that are everywhere, and the story is much richer for them.
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