Kirsten's Reviews > Coraline

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Jan 29, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-pre-12-07, own, fiction, work-related, children-or-ya
Read in October, 2006

I decided to revisit it after I got into a discussion on the LJ community 50bookchallenge about whether it was appropriate for younger (8-10 year old) readers. My feeling was that it was a pretty creepy book, but that I'd be comfortable handing it to a kid whose reading level was fairly mature. After the discussion, I wanted to go back and see if my original impressions were still accurate.

I think they are. This book has some super creepy moments, and I probably wouldn't recommend it to kids who are scared easily and who don't enjoy being scared. But to me, the scariness never becomes unmanageable, and on this re-read I think I figured out why. No matter how dark and scary things get, there's never really any doubt that Coraline is going to make it out of this ok. Why? Because Coraline never doubts it. She never panics. She ends up in a terrifying situation and actually thinks to herself (I'm paraphrasing), "Ok, I could either panic and run around until this thing catches me, or I could actually THINK for a second and get myself out of this." She is a wonderfully capable heroine who is determined not to do the things you yell at people for doing in horror movies -- or if she DOES do such things, she does them knowing full well that it's a dangerous thing to do and she's going to need her wits to get herself out of this one. Yet, at the same time, she's wonderfully real, and her intelligence and capability never seem preternatural, just brave. I really love this book, more so now than I did the first time I read it, if that's possible.
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message 1: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Thank you for making me feel better about my 8 yr. old reading it and loving it...I totally lost the supermommy competition when I volunteered to other moms that I had suggested he read it and that it was good.

I had a big thing written on how this book was like allowed my son to confront his fear(s) in a safe way, and in so doing, allowed him to become more fearless, but I got side-tracked and now the whole thing is pointless.

This review is my consolation. Thanks.

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