In Coraline by Neil Gaiman, the title heroine has just moved into a new house with her parents. She's met the neighbours: a strange pair of elderly actresses and a crazy old man living in the attic. All are friendly enough, if only they can get her name right. Still, Coraline feels ignored and she's a curious girl. She soon discovers a locked door that opens to a brick wall. After talking to her mother about it, she learns that the door is blocked because it leads to the empty apartment next door. Or does it?
One day she discovers instead of a brick wall, the door opens into a dark hallway. On the other side is a house just like hers, but not quite. A woman who calls herself Coraline's other mother entices her to stay by kidnapping her real parents. Now Coraline must outsmart this creature or she and her parents will be trapped forever.
This is just the book I would have loved to pieces as a girl. Secret doors, hidden worlds, a gutsy heroine: right up my alley. Even now I gobbled Coraline up in just one afternoon. The story pulled me in right away and I didn't want to put it down. I loved how clever and brave Coraline was. She's an unique individual. And that cat! Loved the cat. He spoke just how I think a cat would speak if he could talk. (Having a black cat myself, he was my favorite character.)
The other mother is a mystery throughout. What kind of creature is she? I think she's a kind of a boogeyman, something that lives under the bed or in dark corners. Whatever children fear, she's it. Gaiman must have a childlike imagination. Coraline is full of imagery that would appeal to any imaginative young person. It's a fast paced quick read.
Nymeth @ Things Mean a Lot