Coralineby Neil Gaiman is a book that has been in my “to read” pile for several years. It actually made it out of the “to read” pile into my classroom library two years ago when I realized it was one of those “best books i have not read” and that kids would get to it before I could. Despite my best intentions to get a student to read the book, I’ve had no takers. Now that I finished it, I realized I wasn’t selling it to them correctly. If I had told them it was “too scary”, “downright creepy”, and a little disturbing they would have been all over the book. When I was trying to describe the book to my husband last night I described it as almost a new genre of “kid horror” novel which then seemed even more scary to me. This morning in the shower I realized that lots of kids love being scared, hence the Goosebumps series and the Spooky Stories of …
It is worth noting, that the shadows that surround Coraline in the cover I pasted in this post, are not on the cover that I have from Scholastic. I think those shadows add to the appeal of the book, whereas this might be the first time in a long time where I feel the illustrations actually deter from the story! Several times while reading the story, I had to cover up the illustrations (my husband wants me to add that I am a giant chicken and that artists should be encouaged,) so I could keep reading as I turned off from the story by the illustrations, which were often not with the matching text.
When I went to get the cover of the book, low and behold, there is a new cover (see below) and also an additional cover for the “movie” version of the book that is coming out in 2009. What! A movie of the book? I’m not sure I should have been surprised. I acutally really like the cover of the movie book and the foreshadowing of the “hand”.
This book is a fast read and I think it would have my students spellbound and begging for more as a read aloud. I would suggest trying to get it read in October, or definitely before the movie comes out, as that always changes students’ perception of a book.