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1 Beaverton Children's- Science Fiction and Fantasy

Coraline

by

Coraline Cover

 

 

Excerpt

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

Chapter One

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 plop as 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.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

xent, May 10, 2006 (view all comments by xent)
Creepy, Scary and at the end...Inspiring!
One could just feel the intensity in this Gaiman's book! Goosebumps would be triggered and would linger to your satisfaction.
Highly imaginative! from the button eyes to the make-believe world...truly unbelievable!!!
one word for it..."Whoa!"
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780380977789
Illustrated by:
McKean, Dave
Author:
McKean, Dave
Author:
Castro, Adam-Troy
Author:
Gaiman, Neil
Author:
Margiotta, Kristen
Author:
by Neil Gaiman
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Location:
New York, NY
Subject:
General
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - General
Subject:
Horror & Ghost Stories
Subject:
Supernatural
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Horror
Subject:
General Juvenile Fiction
Subject:
Horror stories
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Subject:
Family - Parents
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Gustav Gloom
Publication Date:
July 2, 2002
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 3 up to 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
7.63 x 5.13 in 1 lb
Age Level:
09-12

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Related Subjects

Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Scary Stories » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Coraline Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 176 pages HarperCollins Publishers - English 9780380977789 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A]n electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons....Gaiman twines his taught tale with a menacing tone and crisp prose fraught with memorable imagery...yet keeps the narrative just this side of terrifying....McKean's scratchy, angular drawings...add an ominous edge that helps ensure this book will be a real bedtime-buster."
"Review" by , "Delicate and extraordinary, it reads like Alice in Wonderland crossed with Stephen King..."
"Review" by , "[D]elightfully creepy....Gaiman proves with Coraline that he is truly a mythmaker."
"Review" by , "[Neil Gaiman] is, simply put, a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him in any medium."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "This book will send a shiver down your spine, out through your toes, and into a taxi to the airport. It has the delicate horror of the finest fairy tales, and it is a masterpiece."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of American Gods and Stardust comes a fantastical tale. When Coraline steps through the locked doors in her family's new flat, she finds a world which caters to her every whim. But when she wants to leave, things turn unpleasant. To save other trapped children, her parents, and herself, Coraline must fight with all her wits and courage. Illustrations by Dave McKean.
"Synopsis" by ,
Enter an exciting new world of shadows from Hugo Award nominee Adam-Troy Castro. Meet Gustav Gloom.

Fernie What finds herself lost in the Gloom mansion after her cat appears to have been chased there by its own shadow. Fernie discovers a library full of every book that was never written, a gallery of statues that are just plain awkward, and finds herself at dinner watching her own shadow take part in the feast!

Along the way Fernie is chased by the People Taker who is determined to take her to the Shadow Country. It's up to Fernie and Gustav to stop the People Taker before he takes Fernie's family.

Featuring a unique cover and beautifully dark full-page illustrations by Kristen Margiotta, Gustav Gloom is sure to be a hit with fans who love a little darkness in their lives.

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