Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.
-- first sentence
Coraline wondered why so few of the adults she had met made any sense. She sometimes wondered who they thought they were talking to.
...when you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave.
--Coraline, Chapter 5
This story is really eerie. I haven't seen the movie, but I may watch it now that I read the book. I would always prefer to read the book first, if possible.
Coraline is a strong, brave, and determined young lady. All of the adults who live in the same house as Coraline insist on calling her "Caroline," no matter how many times she corrects them. There is a real disconnect between the adults in the story and Coraline. They interact with her, but it's like they live in different worlds. Coraline ends up walking through a doorway into a different world, with different versions of the same adults. At first, she finds the alternate world exciting, but still a bit off. Then she realizes that the other mother wants her to stay there forever. Coraline knows that it is up to her to find a way to stop the other mother and save her parents.
I can't believe I never read this before. This book seems too frightening for kids, but Gaiman wrote it for his own children. And I guess kids look at things differently than adults, maybe it isn't as scary to them. I enjoyed this book much more than The Graveyard Book, which is also by Gaiman but not nearly as creepy.
This book is a quirky, dark, and clever fairy tale.
Amazon says 8-12; I was thinking maybe 9 or 10 and up, but you know your child best. If your kid likes creepy, then this is the perfect book. :)