TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:
I know lots of you have read Neil Gaiman's "Coraline," perhaps as part of your school's required summer reading program. Did you know that HarperCollins is releasing a graphic novel version of "Coraline" this summer? Well now you do!
Very quickly, for newbies out there, Coraline has moved to a new flat (British speak for apartment) with her folks. She's terribly bored during her first summer there, and while her unusual neighbors provide a bit of mystery and diversion, Coraline longs for something more. Her parents don't seem to pay enough attention, so Coraline takes to exploring on her own. One day, she opens a locked door and finds not the bricked-up entryway she expected but an entirely new passage into another world. This new world looks very much like Coraline's, but on this side of the hall, her mother has black button eyes and evil intentions. With the help of a talking black cat, Coraline must be brave and clever enough to outwit her "other mother," rescue her real parents, and return back to her own world.
I was so impressed with the focus of the graphic novel adaptation. P. Craig Russell, who adapted the story and illustrated it as well, very capably selects scenes from the book to depict here. His graphic novel maintains the same steadily creepy pace as the original book, building toward the big confrontation between Coraline and her other mother. The illustrations are also stellar. They perfectly capture the spooky yet still gentle tone of the novel. If you've read the book, I think you'll get a huge kick out of seeing Neil Gaiman's imaginative novel come to life before your eyes in everything from the snarky black cat to the disintegrating other father. It's a scary but fun take on a now classic novel, and I recommend it to all our readers in middle school and up.