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Coraline The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploringIn 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 This a perfect, traditional fairy tale, with a slightly surreal twenty first century warp The writing is as magical as the plot Its thirteen chapters are delightful, dark, and funny, with a heroine many can relate to, as child, parent, or both Coraline is intelligent, inquisitive, slightly contrary, hates being bored, and wishes her parents paid herattention, and didn t feed her recipes Perhaps, she wishes she had different parents And you should always be careful what you wish for This a perfect, traditional fairy tale, with a slightly surreal twenty first century warp The writing is as magical as the plot Its thirteen chapters are delightful, dark, and funny, with a heroine many can relate to, as child, parent, or both Coraline is intelligent, inquisitive, slightly contrary, hates being bored, and wishes her parents paid herattention, and didn t feed her recipes Perhaps, she wishes she had different parents And you should always be careful what you wish for, even if you don t know you ve wished for it So begins an adventure in which Coraline unlocks a door, goes down a secret passage, and finds herself in an alternate world that is eerily familiar, and scarily unfamiliar She must conquer fears, discover the truth, and solve problems to find and rescue her parents, herself, and others A book is not supposed to be a mirror It s supposed to be a door Fran Lebowitz There are echoes of Grimm, Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, Dickens, Greek myths, and others, but it s also thoroughly original It is YYA, rather than YA I only wish it had been published a decade ago, so I could have read when my son was YYA.Learning OutcomesThis isn t a remotely teachy or preachy book, but Coraline learns a lot about life, familial love, and especially herself She finds bravery she didn t know she had, but she faces temptation as well The other mother loved her as a dragon loves gold The other mother offers her everything she thinks she wants But there is a price, and Coraline has a Eureka moment, and declares I don t want whatever I want Nobody does Not really What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted Just like that, and it didn t mean anythingThe Importance of NamesNames are often endowed with supernatural power, but in this book, it s almost the reverse In Coraline s real world, there is a strange man who has an apartment in the same house Coraline doesn t know his name it hadn t even occurred to her that he had one , and he always gets hers wrong Caroline The equivalent man in the alternative world always gets her name right, and yet that s also where the cat explains why names are unimportant We cats know who we are, so we don t need names When Coraline asks what she d do if she needed to call it, the cat replies, Calling cats tends to be a rather overrated activity Might as well call a whirlwind The Importance of Fairy TalesIn the introduction, Gaiman says that the prime message he wanted to convey to his young daughters was that bravery is when you re scared but still do it anyway.Hence, he opens with a quote from GK Chesterton Fairy tales arethan true not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten That reminded me of an equally pertinent one from Ursula Le Guin People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons From within Chris Riddell s Illustrations Compared with Henry Selick s FilmMy edition of the book is illustrated by Chris Riddell, who has also illustrated Gaiman s The Graveyard Book I have fond memories of his collaboration with Paul Stewart on The Edge Chronicles, read with my son a dozen years ago, and enjoy his cartoons in The Literary Review The slightly different imagery of the film is probably familiar topeople I saw it several years ago, and it feels like a Tim Burton work, but it was actually adapted and directed by Henry Selick, who worked with Burton on The Nightmare Before Christmas, and also directed James and The Giant Peach Miss Spink and Miss Forcible reminded me of aunts Spiker and Sponge.Submit to being entrapped in this tangled web of creative talent Quotes 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 Go away, he said cheerfully An argument as old and comfortable as an armchair that no one ever really wins or loses The mist hung like blindness around the house She had the feeling that the door was looking back at her, which she knew was silly, and knew on a deeper level was somehow true There was something slightly vague about his face like bread dough that has begun to rise Her long white fingers fluttered gently, like a tired butterfly Her hair was wriggling like lazy snakes on a warm day Her black button eyes seemed as if they had been freshly polished If she were nowhere, then she could be anywhere And, after all, it is always easier to be afraid of something you can t see Her voice did not just come from her mouth It came from the mist, and the fog, and the house, and the sky Mirrors are never to be trusted But Gaiman is This book is magical I already said that, but it s worth repeating No actual fairies in this fairy tale, but that s true of most of the best fairy tales, imo I ve read this book many different times in many different ways I read it off the page when it first came out Later, I listened to Gaiman s narration of the audiobook when I was sequestered in the north woods of Wisconsin in a desperate attempt to finish book two I watched the movie and enjoyed it My most recent experience of the book was listening to it with my little boy on a long car ride I wasn t sure he d be able to get into it Not because of the vocabulary He s very sharp for being I ve read this book many different times in many different ways I read it off the page when it first came out Later, I listened to Gaiman s narration of the audiobook when I was sequestered in the north woods of Wisconsin in a desperate attempt to finish book two I watched the movie and enjoyed it My most recent experience of the book was listening to it with my little boy on a long car ride I wasn t sure he d be able to get into it Not because of the vocabulary He s very sharp for being 4.5 He s good with words But sometimes he gets a little scared Despite my worries, he seemed to enjoy it He paid attention, attention, asking for us to turn it back on after we stopped by the side of the road A day later, he excitedly told me all about the story, apparently forgetting I d been in the car too All of that was months ago Fast forward to now Dad, Oot said Do you know the guy who wrote Coraline The question caught me by surprise The two of us were driving to a party together, a friend was having a bonfire and I was amazed that he was thinking about anything other than ss I do, I said His name is Neil Gaiman Do you have his phone number he asked No, I said Do you know where he lives I do, I said Are you his friend That brought me up short For Oot, that s a simple question If you meet someone and play with them, they re you re friend Easy For adults these things are harder And it s doubly hard for me these days My life has changed so much over the last five years, and my previously established metric for friendship doesn t work very well anyYou see, for the majority of my life, a friend was someone who would, say, help me move a couch Someone you could bum 10 dollars off of if you needed to A friend was someone who felt comfortable enough to come over to my house without calling first Then, if I wasn t home, they would let themselves in, eat out of my fridge, and start watching TV While I m terribly fond of him, Neil Gaiman has never done any of these things Then again, neither have any of the other authors I ve met over the last few years I m painfully aware of the need for new friendship metrics, but I haven t managed to develop a good set yet.That won t make any sense to my boy, but still, I try to be honest with him whenever I can I don t know if we re friends, I say But we re colleagues What s a colleagues he asks, right on cue That means we know each other and do the same job, I explain Oh yes, he says You re both authors It makes me proud when he says that I m proud that my boy knows I write books Do you know his address Oot asks, and it takes me a while to realize that he s returning to his previous line of questioning I do, I said, not bothering to point out that knowing where someone lives and knowing their address is pretty much the same thing Can you send him a letter I could, I say Oot pauses for a moment then, and I realize that this has been the point of the whole conversation He wants to send Neil Gaiman a message What would you like me to write to him I ask You should tell him he sure knows how to write a scary story So there you go You don t really need me to tell you how I feel about one of Gaiman s books at this point You know I love his writing Instead, I m offering up my boy s unvarnished opinion Did he think the story was scary Absolutely But he still wanted us to turn it back on as soon as we were back in the car What s , he was still thinking about Coraline months later And it was the first book where he s ever shown any interest in contacting the author So Bravo, Neil Gaiman You ve managed to win over two generations of the Rothfuss household If you ve ever wondered which literary world would be the best to live in, wonder no longer, cause there s a BookTube Video to answer that The Written Review I was such a cowardly kid that I never managed to readthan the blurb on the backNow that I ve finally summoned the courage to give it a try I wish I read it sooner I love this novel Unlike Gaiman s fiction for adults, every sentence, every word has its purpose And finally, Gaiman does not throw in some weird sex scene If you ve ever wondered which literary world would be the best to live in, wonder no longer, cause there s a BookTube Video to answer that The Written Review I was such a cowardly kid that I never managed to readthan the blurb on the backNow that I ve finally summoned the courage to give it a try I wish I read it sooner I love this novel Unlike Gaiman s fiction for adults, every sentence, every word has its purpose And finally, Gaiman does not throw in some weird sex scene Can I get a hallelujahOne especially dull and rainy day traps young Coraline inside the new house Her parents are busy and she must entertain herself She finds a little door in the drawing room and a little key that fits in.he discovers a passageway into the otherworld In it are her other mother and her other father both of which always have the time for her and adore making her favorite foods But, there s somethingtoo otherlyabout the two that raises her hackles They re perfect Finally, the other mother plays her hand She wants Coraline all to herself With a growing sense of dread, Coraline finds the way back locked and her chances of escaping becoming ever slimmerAll the while, the other mother promises how wonderful and lovely living with her will beforever I don t want whatever I want Nobody does Not really What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn t mean anything What thenCoraline herself is brave and kind and courageous At her age, I certainly couldn t have done half the things she managed I love her strength and how there isn t a stich of love interest only adventure and escapades.Much better than expected and I didn t get any nightmares Audiobook CommentsRead by the author woohoo As much as I grumble about some of his books, there s no denying that he s absolutely fabulous to listen to this man could read a grocery list and I d give it a listen.YouTube Blog Instagram Twitter Snapchat miranda.reads Happy Reading A 82% Very Good NotesA genuinely disturbing and creepy story with vivid imagery, it s well rounded and goes at a perfect pace and length.

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