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Coraline

Coraline

by Neil Gaiman

Unabridged — 3 hours, 36 minutes

Neil Gaiman
Coraline

Coraline

by Neil Gaiman

Unabridged — 3 hours, 36 minutes

Neil Gaiman

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Overview

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.



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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Gaiman’s tale is inventive, scary, thrilling and finally affirmative. Readers young and old will find something to startle them.” — Washington Post Book World

“A modern ghost story with all the creepy trimmings…Well done.” — New York Times Book Review

“Coraline is by turns creepy and funny, bittersweet and playful…can be read quickly and enjoyed deeply.” — San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

“A magnificently creepy story. Coraline is spot on.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Gaiman’s pacing is superb, and he steers the tension of the tale with a deft and practiced narrative touch.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, rise to your feet and applaud: Coraline is the real thing.” — Philip Pullman, The Guardian

“The most splendidly original, weird, and frightening book I have read, and yet full of things children will love.” — Diana Wynne Jones

“It has the delicate horror of the finest fairy tales, and it is a masterpiece.” — Terry Pratchett

“An electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“ Walk through the door and you’ll believe in love, magic, and the power of good over evil.” — USA Today

“So wonderfully whimsical that readers of all ages will hungrily devour itCoraline is destined to become a classic. — Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“Chilly, finely-wrought prose, a truly weird setting and a fable that taps into our most uncomfortable fears.” — Times Educational Supplement

“A deliciously scary book that we loved reading together as a family.” — Orson Scott Card

“Beautifully spooky. Gaiman actually seems to understand the way children think. ” — Christian Science Monitor

“A frighteningly realistic fantasy. Lean crisp prose adds to the suspense and propels the story, and the eerie black-and-white illustrations by Dave McKean heighten the nightmarish quality of the tale.” — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

“Kids will hang on every word. Coraline is a character with whom they will surely identify, and they will love being frightened out of their shoes. This is just right for all those requests for a scary book.” — School Library Journal (starred review)

USA Today

Walk through the door and you’ll believe in love, magic, and the power of good over evil.

Orson Scott Card

A deliciously scary book. The magical elements are surprising and new, and the evil that she has to fight is disturbing in ways that matter.

Diana Wynne Jones

I think this book will nudge Alice in Wonderland out of its niche at last. It is the most splendidly original, weird, and frightening book I have read, and yet full of things children will love.

Philip Pullman

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, rise to your feet and applaud: Coraline is the real thing.

Lemony Snicket

This book tells a fascinating and disturbing story that frightened me nearly to death. Unless you want to find yourself hiding under your bed, with your thumb in your mouth, trembling with fear and making terrible noises, I suggest that you step very slowly away from this book and go find another source of amusement, such as investigating an unsolved crime or making a small animal out of yarn.

Terry Pratchett

It has the delicate horror of the finest fairy tales, and it is a masterpiece.

New York Times Book Review

A modern ghost story with all the creepy trimmings…Well done.

San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

Coraline is by turns creepy and funny, bittersweet and playful…can be read quickly and enjoyed deeply.

Washington Post Book World

Gaiman’s tale is inventive, scary, thrilling and finally affirmative. Readers young and old will find something to startle them.

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Gaiman’s pacing is superb, and he steers the tension of the tale with a deft and practiced narrative touch.

USA Today

Walk through the door and you’ll believe in love, magic, and the power of good over evil.

Times Educational Supplement

Chilly, finely-wrought prose, a truly weird setting and a fable that taps into our most uncomfortable fears.

Globe and Mail (Toronto)

So wonderfully whimsical that readers of all ages will hungrily devour itCoraline is destined to become a classic.

Locus

CORALINE may be Gaiman’s most disciplined and fully controlled novel to date, and it may even end up as something of a classic.

Christian Science Monitor

Beautifully spooky. Gaiman actually seems to understand the way children think.

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

A frighteningly realistic fantasy. Lean crisp prose adds to the suspense and propels the story, and the eerie black-and-white illustrations by Dave McKean heighten the nightmarish quality of the tale.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Gaiman’s pacing is superb, and he steers the tension of the tale with a deft and practiced narrative touch.

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Gaiman’s pacing is superb, and he steers the tension of the tale with a deft and practiced narrative touch.

Family Fun Magazine

A truly creepy tale. Beware those button eyes!

Time Magazines Educational Supplement

"Chilly, finely-wrought prose, a truly weird setting and a fable that taps into our most uncomfortable fears."

Globe & Mail (Toronto)

"So wonderfully whimsical that readers of all ages will hungrily devour itCoraline is destined to become a classic.

The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

“Gaiman’s pacing is superb, and he steers the tension of the tale with a deft and practiced narrative touch.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940169872330
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/22/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Age Range: 8 - 11 Years

Read an Excerpt

Coraline (AER)

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 (AER). Copyright © by Neil Gaiman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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