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Coraline 10th Anniversary Edition Kindle Edition
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|Kindle, April 24, 2012||
|Length: 212 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 8 - 12|
|Grade Level: 3 - 7|
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-- Sara Bernardin, Islamorada, FL --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What's on the other side of the door? A distorted-mirror world, containing presumably everything Coraline has ever dreamed of... people who pronounce her name correctly (not "Caroline"), delicious meals (not like her father's overblown "recipes"), an unusually pink and green bedroom (not like her dull one), and plenty of horrible (very un-boring) marvels, like a man made out of live rats. The creepiest part, however, is her mirrored parents, her "other mother" and her "other father"--people who look just like her own parents, but with big, shiny, black button eyes, paper-white skin... and a keen desire to keep her on their side of the door. To make creepy creepier, Coraline has been illustrated masterfully in scritchy, terrifying ink drawings by British mixed-media artist and Sandman cover illustrator Dave McKean. This delightful, funny, haunting, scary as heck, fairy-tale novel is about as fine as they come. Highly recommended. (Ages 11 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- Publication Date : April 24, 2012
- File Size : 6332 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 212 pages
- Publisher : HarperCollins; Illustrated Edition (April 24, 2012)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B0070XB0N6
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #557,623 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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i am by no means a book worm—i literally read math books and the bible and that’s it haha—but every time i read this book, there is even more suspense and the visualization of what is happening is BETTER than the movie. and i discover something new every time. i’ve been watching youtube videos to get other people’s take on the book and it’s just so fascinating.
so i urge you, join the conversation! you won’t regret it. :)
However, I wouldn't allow my 10 yr old daughter to read this. It seems like the message is, "You have to solve your problems all by yourself because there is no one who can help you." I don't want my child being told that. Children need to be able to (and be encouraged to) approach the trusted adults in their life for help.
Like a lot of people I will say I saw the movie when I was younger, and to this day it’s still one of my favorites, it’s a go to for sure. I have Cosplayed Coraline for Comic-Con, and I have a Caroline button tattoo. So, we know I love it.
But I had never read the book! To be honest I didn’t know who wrote it either, a fail on my part. However when I found it oh boy, I had to read it.
- [ ] Neil Gaiman has an ability to write amazing stories, filled with great description and definitely spookiness. If you don’t know the story of Coraline, it’s about a little girl who goes through a doorway in her house to her other house and finds her “other parents “ and they want her to stay forever! But of course something has to change with her too. Go through the story to see what the real world and other world have to offer. A very creepy story with creepy but amazing illustrations by Dave McKean go and see what this book has to offer. Also, if you get the 10the anniversary edition which I suggest you do, read Gaiman’s forward and questions at the end too. A fiver out of five buttons....I mean stars.
As this author likes to do, he paints an intriguing tale using both the strange and the familiar. Perhaps inspired by his own childhood reading the Narnia Chronicles and Alice in Wonderland, Coraline enters a strange world through a doorway to nowhere inside her home. The protagonist lives in an old mansion that was divided up into four flats. As part of the division, a doorway was bricked up but otherwise left intact. Two of the other flats are inhabited by curious adults who have interesting backgrounds and peculiar interests. But no other children. The fourth flat is vacant and this leaves Coraline wondering what it's like over in the vacant flat.
One day, she opens the odd door (that is usually full of bricks) and discovers a passageway to the "Other" world. Here she discovers her "Other" family who purport to be having a much more interesting and exciting life on this side of the flat. Coraline also meets her "other" neighbors who are even more intriguing and crazier versions of themselves than in the real world. However, there is also a hint that something is a little off, despite the seemingly gracious attitude of the inhabitants of the Other world. For one, they have buttons for eyes! Coraline is a clever girl and keeps her guard up refusing an invitation to stay in this Other world, but she's ultimately drawn back when her loved ones are kidnapped and imprisoned there. This story has all the "wonder" of Wonderland. Nothing is as it seems and all is fascinating in its absurdity.
Gaiman invents his own monsters and puts his own spin on this Other world adventure story that is reminiscent of stepping through the looking glass or through the furs in the oversized wardrobe. The tone of the story is what delivers its charm. It's dark and somber. Yet, despite the darkness, the author manages to keep it light enough for its intended younger audience. Like other masters of the genre, he manages to ride that line where the book is enjoyable for both adults as well as children. Gaiman keeps an element of danger and scary things in the Other world without becoming overly graphic. It's just the right touch. Quite a feat. Not too mention, refreshing.
The setting is very small. It takes place almost entirely in Coraline's home (and the "Other" version of it). This is very relatable. Gaiman really manages to capture the child's perspective of Coraline roaming around her home and the grounds outside. Everything feels big and adventurous. It makes me think about being a youngster myself and exploring different rooms in my grandparents' homes during family parties. How big a house can seem when you're so young...there always seemed to be a mysterious room or door that I might not have noticed before.
Even little touches like Coraline's dislike of her father's cooking feels authentic and in character. Coraline has a real voice in her thoughts, actions and words. Her parents too. They're busy, as parents often are, but they still manage to make time for her and convey a sense of love and doting.
Gaiman has a way of using his words sparingly but he still conveys a sense of place. He seems to find just the right touchstones to get his point across. This makes the story easier for younger readers, but also meaningful and solid for older readers. When you read authors like this, you know within the first page the lighthearted depth that is being conveyed. You're immediately swept up by the words and transported into a new world. It's a great feeling.
By touching on some classic tropes i.e. portals to strange worlds hidden from our own world, sassy talking cats, and smooth talking sirens (who are just a little too nice) - we are easily coaxed off the pages and transported beyond. However, Gaiman has his own perspective on this, and his unique twists and particular details take the old familiar and make it new again.
This feels like a short novella. A fast read. It quickly strikes a mood and sets the stage for a dark, adventurous fairy tale. Definitely recommended.
Podcast: If you enjoy my review (or this topic) this book and the movie based on it were further discussed/debated in a lively discussion on my podcast: "No Deodorant In Outer Space". The podcast is available on iTunes or our website.
Top reviews from other countries
There's only one thing she hasn't explored: the little door in the spare room where her grandmother's furniture is kept 'for best'. Her mother begrudgingly unlocks and opens the door to show a brick wall where it blocks off the empty flat next door. When her mother is out shopping Coraline unlocks the little door herself for another look. Instead of opening onto a brick wall, the door opens to reveal a long dark corridor. Curiosity gets the better of her and she crawls through it.
On the other side of the corridor she crawls out into the flat she just left, but it's different somehow. Her parents are there, but they are different. The Other Mother is taller, thinner, 'her teeth a little too long' and her hair flows around her head. And in the place of eyes are two shiny black buttons. She cooks Coraline the food she always loves, in her other bedroom is a toybox full of toys she loves and in her wardrobe all the kinds of clothes she loves. This world is more interesting and fun, and her parents want to spend time with her. The black cat hasn't changed much in the other world, but it can speak. It tells her to not trust this world and not trust the Other Mother. Everything is not as it seems.
And that is how the little girl spirals into this dark web crafted by the Other Mother to keep her here for herself. What does she really want? Why is she trying to get rid of the cat, 'that vermin', who is the only one telling her any truths?
This is a wonderfully wicked tale that will creep out the adults and fascinate the children. It is one of my favourite books, and if you loved the film you will love this even more as there are differences that strengthens the original story. Extra note: once you've read the book, if you want more then search for 'Coraline theories' on youtube for plenty more mysteries.
The story, of course, centres around the summer holiday adventures of its titular heroine - young Coraline Jones - who, along with her mother and father, has moved into one of the flats in a ramshackle old house in the wilds of the country. Coraline's parents work from home but are busy people; and as I suspect is the case with many youngsters nowadays, they just don't seem to have enough time in the day to spare their daughter the attention she craves. Her mother automatically buys Coraline 'sensible' clothes - never the clothes her daughter actually wants to wear; and her father - a worryingly clueless sort of 'home husband' - is an experimental but terrible cook, and never serves anything to table that Coraline wants to eat.
The upstairs flat is occupied by the eccentrically acrobatic Mr Bobo - a moustachioed Eastern European with a penchant for training a troublesome musical mouse circus; the downstairs flat is shared by two ageing but rather highly strung former thespian spinsters - Miss Forcible and Miss Spink - together with their phlegmatic Highland Terriers: Hamish, Andrew, and Jock. But diverting though these neighbours may at first appear, is it any wonder that a bold and curious young girl like Coraline should want to go adventuring - exactly as a haughty black cat asserts his right to go wandering far and wide about the place, as though he owns it?
It's then that Coraline becomes captivated by the carved, brown wooden door in the drawing room - a locked door, which when released shows only a plain brick wall... Or does it...? In fact, the door leads to another world entirely - and to another house, which looks very much like her own. It also leads to another kindly father and another doting mother, neither of whom can seemingly do enough for lonely little Coraline - providing her with feasts of delicious food and the brightly coloured clothes she has always most desired; but just one thing:
Why do these alternative parents both have large and shiny-bright black buttons, sewn into place where their eyes must once have been...?
I won't go into much more detail about the plot because that would surely spoil the experience for those coming to the novel afresh. Suffice it to say that Coraline has quite a torrid time of it in trying to escape from her 'Other Mother' (otherwise known as the mysterious 'Beldam'), and that - with the help of one very formidable black cat, as previously mentioned - tries endlessly to return to her real mother and father, with whom she now desperately longs to be reunited.
'Coraline' is, of course, a typically imaginative piece of fiction from the distinguished and individual mind of Neil Gaiman. What really works in its favour, I think, is that Mr Gaiman thankfully refrains from those sensational excesses that too often find their way into his adult fictions for no better reason than their shock value, but which often end up being something more of a blight than a blessing. 'Coraline' can, in fact, be rightly celebrated for being a joyously restrained creation - a book about which no parent need concern themeselves too much when it comes to letting their children read it independently. I must also commend the illustrations by Chris Riddell, which grace the 10th Anniversary Edition that I bought - though perhaps the confined reading medium of my Kindle didn't quite do them justice!
A guaranteed page turner!
As with all adaptations, the stop motion film varies slightly from the story in this book, however, I still found myself thoroughly engaged in Coraline Jones adventure through the door to the Other Place and even found my breath held in tension at times.
I downloaded the audio version narrated by Neil Gaiman himself and found that it also differed from the book; I think it was "Americanised" as there were little word changes (flashlight said instead of the torch that was printed, distance was narrated in imperial instead of the metric that was printed, etc) and slight sentence restructures. Having said that, I loved the way Mr Gaiman read his story, the pace of his speech and his tonal inflections; his performance helped to immerse me in the adventure.
Coraline is one of my favourite films, I watch it every Halloween and I am overjoyed to say that it's also one of my favourite books now too.
The plot is fairly simple, the writing is good and set firmly at a middle grade level and the book explores a variety of themes you normally see in a scary story, but often with a bit of a take-away children can use as teachings in their own life - especially the idea that being given everything you want often comes with a catch (think Hansel and Gretel) .
Now, I come from a slightly different POV than most children reading this book as I experienced an upbringing from a narcissistic mother. Due to this, the 'other mother' and life through the corridor did trigger some rather close to home feelings, even with it being told in an appropriate child-friendly way. Gaiman explores themes around control and abuse in this book, whilst on the surface it can also just be seen as a scary story. The fact that it evokes this response is a credit to his writing - he really captures the monster well.
The story explores themes around family and 'the grass is always greener,' whilst ultimately having the message that although everything has flaws , it is not always safe to just jump to a new situation to fix them.
This book is well written and my student loved it, finishing it in one sitting. She found it creepy and enjoyed exploring the idea of suspense in the story. She is 11 years old and I would say it was fine for 10 up, depending on the child. Some younger students may be fine with it, depending on their sensitivity.
Coraline discovers a little door in the new house she's moved into, which leads her to her other mother who has big black buttons for eyes... It's thoroughly weird and captivating all at once and the drawings by Chris Riddell are so creepy (except the cat) and definitely add to the reading experience.
My favourite character is definitely the cat!! He's so the star of the show and so sassy I love it. It's definitely a book worth reading and a film worth seeing! A fantastic story and did I say how awesome the cat is?