My first acquaintance with Coraline was in a theatre. I was in middle school, and we had some sort of a tradition with my friends/classmates: every week or so, we gathered together to watch something new in our local cinema. Often, it would happen after a long school day (morning, to be precise), and spending the other half of the day in a magical atmosphere of a movie hall, a bucket of popcorn, and your close friends by your side – what on earth could be better?
We watched Coraline on one of such days. It wasn’t a spontaneous decision, though: we knew it was coming out since back in those days, we’d already been Tim Burton’s fans, and this movie reminded us of his creations. I won’t describe my impressions of the film in detail, I’ll only say that it seemed enchanting, thrilling, and, well, horrifying. Even for kids raised on The Saw movies.
No wonder that when I found out the movie was based on a book, I bought it right away. I remember it took less than 3 evenings to finish it – yes, it’s a children’s book written in a rather easy language, but mainly it was the plot that kept my eyes glued to every page till the very end.
Coraline moves to a new house together with her parents. The house is huge, it’s an old mansion turned into several apartments. Coraline’s parents are too busy with creating a gardening catalog, so their daughter has too much spare time to explore the new surroundings.
Soon she realizes that the house has fourteen doors, and one of them is obviously different as there’s a brick wall behind it. Despite all the precautions, the girl decides to get inside, led by her curiosity. The door leads Coraline to an alternative world where it’s seemingly the same house, same people, and pets, but everyone has buttons instead of their eyes.
At first, this new world seems so much brighter and happier – neighbors are all friendly and hospitable, while Coraline’s alternative parents dedicate all their time to her. However, soon, Coraline finds out that everything is different from what it seems, and it requires much bravery and wit to escape this horrifying world, save previous kids’ lost souls, and get back to normal life.
The story will not only make you thrilled waiting for the climax with impatience; it’s also a fantastic read for kids and their parents alike that teaches the value of family, devoted friends, empathy, and mutual understanding.