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CR3 #34: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline, like The Deathly Hallows, is a children's book that is actually slightly inappropriate for children. Although the language is simple and clear, the plot itself is a bit disturbing, and would probably have given me some nightmares as a child.

Coraline is a young girl who moves with her parents to a new house. She spends her time exploring, meeting the eccentric people who share the house with them, and vaguely wishing that her parents had more time and energy to spend with her. Then one day she discovers a door to a parallel world, where her "Other parents" want nothing more to dote on her every moment. Unfortunately, there is something about their black button eyes that Coraline finds disturbing. Pretty soon, she is playing a dangerous game that--if lost--could leave her stuck in the parallel world forever.

The book is a simple, quick read, but I really enjoyed the character of Coraline--she is a smart, capable, and pragmatic child who never became too whiny or annoying. The plot moved along at a good pace, and I never felt like it was dragging. The characters--aside from Coraline--were a little two-dimensional, but I realize that since they are all described from her perspective perhaps they're meant to be a little flat.

On the whole, this is a cute little book, and would be great for middle-school goth girls.

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