written by Neil Gaiman

Ages: 10-14 years (approximately grades 4-8)

Neil Gaiman is known for exceptional works of literature--both children and adults alike. Whether you are on the edge of your seat reading one of his adult science fiction books or snuggling up next to your preschooler reading his picture book Chu’s Day, Neil Gaiman does not disappoint. If you have a reader who is in grades four through eight and might like to indulge in chilling fantasy tales about mysterious doors, lost souls, a companion cat, and singing mice, Coraline is for you.

It’s COR-aline, not CAR-oline…and she will be the first one to tell you that. Coraline is curious and adventurous. She also loves to explore the outdoors. One day Coraline is forbidden to go outside, so she is left to her own devices and decides to explore the house she and her parents just moved into. What she finds is a mysterious door, which is a portal into another world—another dimension—that is nearly exactly the same as her own world, but slightly off and intensely creepy. She even has a second set of parents in the “other world” who want her to stay in that world forever. But when her second mother goes back into the real world and kidnaps her real world parents, Coraline must figure out a way to defeat evil, save her parents, and get back into her world.

This book isn’t for the faint of heart, but wraps up tidily in the end, which is reassuring for a younger person reading this book. What I love most about this book is Gaiman’s ability to craft frightfully memorable images in the mind of the reader. It’s definitely worth a read. If your reader loves the mystery and intrigue of the classic Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys series, enjoys any of the Mary Downing Hahn stories, or loved our previous Kid Lit Pick Doll Bones, they should try Coraline. Try out the audio book version, too. Having the singing mice “serenade” you as you are driving around Glencoe will give you a fun scare for sure...

Find Coraline and the various print and AV adaptations in our catalog.

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