Cover image for Coraline
Title:
Coraline
Author:
Gaiman, Neil.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
162 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
740 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.1 5.0 60645.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.2 9 Quiz: 31493 Guided reading level: W.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780380977789

9780066237442
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Summary

Summary

The day after they moved in,
Coraline went exploring....

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.


Author Notes

Neil Gaiman was born in Portchester, England on November 10, 1960. He worked as a journalist and freelance writer for a time, before deciding to try his hand at comic books. Some of his work has appeared in publications such as Time Out, The Sunday Times, Punch, and The Observer. His first comic endeavor was the graphic novel series The Sandman. The series has won every major industry award including nine Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, three Harvey Awards, and the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story, making it the first comic ever to win a literary award.

He writes both children and adult books. His adult books include The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which won a British National Book Awards, and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel for 2014; Stardust, which won the Mythopoeic Award as best novel for adults in 1999; American Gods, which won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, SFX, and Locus awards; Anansi Boys; Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances; and The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction, which is a New York Times Bestseller. His children's books include The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish; Coraline, which won the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla, the BSFA, the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Bram Stoker awards; The Wolves in the Walls; Odd and the Frost Giants; The Graveyard Book, which won the Newbery Award in 2009 and The Sandman: Overture which won the 2016 Hugo Awards Best Graphic Story.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-8. Coraline has recently moved with her preoccupied parents into a flat in an old house. The neighbors above and below are odd but friendly: Mr. Bobo trains mice; elderly Misses Spink and Forcible serve her tea and tell her fortune. No one lives in the flat next door. But Coraline knows better, and one evening she discovers what's there: a tantalizing alternate world, filled with toys and food (unlike any of the boring stuff she has at home) and weird-- though wonderfully attentive--parents, who happen to have black button eyes sewn on with dark thread. Although her «other parents» beg her to stay, she decides to leave, but by doing so Coraline sets in motion a host of nightmarish events that she must remedy alone. Gaiman, well known for his compelling adult horror novels (see «The Booklist Interview,» opposite), seems less sure of himself with a younger age group. His «nowhere wonderland» setting (think Alice on acid) is magical, deliciously eerie, and well captured in the text and in McKean's loose, angular sketches. But the goings-on are murky enough to puzzle some kids and certainly creepy enough to cause a few nightmares (ignore the publisher's suggestion that this is suitable for eight-year-olds). What's more, Coraline is no naive Alice. She's a bundle of odd contradictions that never seem to gel--confident, outspoken, self-sufficient one moment; a whiny child the next. Gaiman's construct offers a chilling and empowering view of children, to be sure, but young readers are likely to miss such subtleties as the clever allusions to classic horror movies and the references to the original dark tales by the Brothers Grimm. Gaiman has written an often-compelling horror novel, but, as with so many adult authors who attempt to reach young readers, his grasp of his audience is less sure than his command of his material. Stephanie Zvirin.


Publisher's Weekly Review

British novelist Gaiman (American Gods; Stardust) and his long-time accomplice McKean (collaborators on a number of Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels as well as The Day I Swapped My Dad for 2 Goldfish) spin an electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons. After Coraline and her parents move into an old house, Coraline asks her mother about a mysterious locked door. Her mother unlocks it to reveal that it leads nowhere: "When they turned the house into flats, they simply bricked it up," her mother explains. But something about the door attracts the girl, and when she later unlocks it herself, the bricks have disappeared. Through the door, she travels a dark corridor (which smells "like something very old and very slow") into a world that eerily mimics her own, but with sinister differences. "I'm your other mother," announces a woman who looks like Coraline's mother, except "her eyes were big black buttons." Coraline eventually makes it back to her real home only to find that her parents are missing--they're trapped in the shadowy other world, of course, and it's up to their scrappy daughter to save them. Gaiman twines his taut tale with a menacing tone and crisp prose fraught with memorable imagery ("Her other mother's hand scuttled off Coraline's shoulder like a frightened spider"), yet keeps the narrative just this side of terrifying. The imagery adds layers of psychological complexity (the button eyes of the characters in the other world vs. the heroine's increasing ability to distinguish between what is real and what is not; elements of Coraline's dreams that inform her waking decisions). McKean's scratchy, angular drawings, reminiscent of Victorian etchings, add an ominous edge that helps ensure this book will be a real bedtime-buster. Ages 8-up.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Master fantasist Gaiman's creepy and wonderful 2002 all-ages novel Coraline won Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards. Acclaimed illustrator Russell-who previously collaborated with Gaiman on the beautiful "Ramadan" issue of Sandman, the Eisner Award-winning "Death" from Sandman: Endless Nights, and a superb comics version of Gaiman's prose story "Murder Mysteries"-here presents an excellent graphic novel adaptation of Coraline's story. When she and her parents move into an old house, the imaginative, adventurous, precocious, and neglected young Coraline discovers a door that leads only to a brick wall. But when she opens the door one night, the wall has disappeared. When she goes through, Coraline finds a home just like her own, only better, where her other mother and father (who look like the real ones, except for the big black buttons they have for eyes) want her to stay forever. When Coraline decides against this, her other mother kidnaps her real parents, and Coraline must brave unknown dangers to save them. Russell appropriately mutes the bright colors he's known for and faithfully preserves much of Gaiman's text and his tone of understated horror (and humor). Because a Coraline film is scheduled for early 2009, expect much interest. Highly recommended.-S.R. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Gr 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Coraline Chapter One Fairy Tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten -- G.K. Chesterton. Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house. It was a very old house -- it had an attic under the roof and a cellar under the ground and an overgrown garden with huge old trees in it. Coraline's family didn't own all of the house, it was too big for that. Instead they owned part of it. There were other people who lived in the old house. Miss Spink and Miss Forcible lived in the flat below Coraline's, on the ground floor. They were both old and round, and they lived in their flat with a number of ageing highland terriers who had names like Hamish and Andrew and Jock. Once upon a time Miss Spink and Miss Forcible had been actresses, as Miss Spink told Coraline the first time she met her. "You see, Caroline," Miss Spink said, getting Coraline's name wrong, "Both myself and Miss Forcible were famous actresses, in our time. We trod the boards, luvvy. Oh, don't let Hamish eat the fruit cake, or he'll be up all night with his tummy." "It's Coraline. Not Caroline. Coraline," said Coraline. In the flat above Coraline's, under the roof, was a crazy old man with a big moustache. He told Coraline that he was training a mouse circus. He wouldn't let anyone see it. "One day, little Caroline, when they are all ready, everyone in the whole world will see the wonders of my mouse circus. You ask me why you cannot see it now. Is that what you asked me?" "No," said Coraline quietly, "I asked you not to call me Caroline. It's Coraline." "The reason you cannot see the Mouse Circus," said the man upstairs, "is that the mice are not yet ready and rehearsed. Also, they refuse to play the songs I have written for them. All the songs I have written for the mice to play go oompah oompah. But the white mice will only play toodle oodle , like that. I am thinking of trying them on different types of cheese." Coraline didn't think there really was a mouse circus. She thought the old man was probably making it up. The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring. She explored the garden. It was a big garden: at the very back was an old tennis court, but no-one in the house played tennis and the fence around the court had holes in it and the net had mostly rotted away; there was an old rose garden, filled with stunted, flyblown rose-bushes; there was a rockery that was all rocks; there was a fairy ring, made of squidgy brown toadstools which smelled dreadful if you accidentally trod on them. There was also a well. Miss Spink and Miss Forcible made a point of telling Coraline how dangerous the well was, on the first day Coraline's family moved in, and warned her to be sure she kept away from it. So Coraline set off to explore for it, so that she knew where it was, to keep away from it properly. She found it on the third day, in an overgrown meadow beside the tennis court, behind a clump of trees -- a low brick circle almost hidden in the high grass. The well had been covered up by wooden boards, to stop anyone falling in. There was a small knot-hole in one of the boards, and Coraline spent an afternoon dropping pebbles and acorns through the hole, and waiting, and counting, until she heard the plopas they hit the water, far below. Coraline also explored for animals. She found a hedgehog, and a snake-skin (but no snake), and a rock that looked just like a frog, and a toad that looked just like a rock. There was also a haughty black cat, who would sit on walls and tree stumps, and watch her; but would slip away if ever she went over to try to play with it. That was how she spent her first two weeks in the house -- exploring the garden and the grounds. Her mother made her come back inside for dinner, and for lunch; and Coraline had to make sure she dressed up warm before she went out, for it was a very cold summer that year; but go out she did, exploring, every day until the day it rained, when Coraline had to stay inside. "What should I do?" asked Coraline. "Read a book," said her mother. "Watch a video. Play with your toys. Go and pester Miss Spink or Miss Forcible, or the crazy old man upstairs." "No," said Coraline. "I don't want to do those things. I want to explore." "I don't really mind what you do," said Coraline's mother, "as long as you don't make a mess." Coraline went over to the window and watched the rain come down. It wasn't the kind of rain you could go out in, it was the other kind, the kind that threw itself down from the sky and splashed where it landed. It was rain that meant business, and currently its business was turning the garden into a muddy, wet soup. Coraline had watched all the videos. She was bored with her toys, and she'd read all her books. She turned on the television. She went from channel to channel to channel, but there was nothing on but men in suits talking about the stock market, and schools programmes. Eventually, she found something to watch: it was the last half of a natural history programme about something called protective coloration. She watched animals, birds and insects which disguised themselves as leaves or twigs or other animals to escape from things that could hurt them. She enjoyed it, but it ended too soon, and was followed by a programme about a cake factory. It was time to talk to her father. Coraline's father was home. Both of her parents worked, doing things on computers, which meant that they were home a lot of the time. Each of them had their own study... Coraline . Copyright © by Neil Gaiman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Coraline by Neil Gaiman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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