Coraline: the graphic novel adaptation

Last week I took my students to the library and (as always!) found myself browsing through the titles for something to read during their sustained silent reading. I was chatting up our librarian and she mentioned a few new graphic novels that they had just got in. One of those was the graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline. I absolutely LOVE Neil Gaiman, but am sad to say I never did read Coraline. I did, however, see the movie and love it. I figured that the graphic novel adaptation would be a fun and quick read for me. Graphic novels are great for me to read during my classroom sustained silent reading block because they move quickly and I can still focus on my classroom in case students need me during their block.

About the book:
So, if you have been living under a rock... here is a quick synopsis of Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

Coraline discovered the door a little after they moved into the house.
When Coraline steps through a door in her family's new house, she finds another house strangely similar to her own (only better). But there's another mother there and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

My thoughts:
I must admit that I was thoroughly impressed with this adaptation. The story is genius to begin with- Neil Gaiman blows my mind. P. Craig Russell is the artist who illustrated this graphic novel. He did a wonderful job bringing Coraline to life.
If you have not read (or watched) Coraline, don't be surprised if you are a bit freaked out while reading this. Gaiman's story is enchanting and terrifying at the same time. I was creeped out and a bit weary of Coraline's "other" world and those who populated it. Russell's artistry brought that creepy factor to life with his illustrations. The Other Mother is quite disturbing looking- especially her hands- and I feel that the illustration is what really brought that to the forefront.
The tale in itself is an odd one- like a subtle nightmare that you wake from. Weirdness aside, there is a solid moral to the story. The concept of "the grass isn't always greener on the other side" really rings true. I love the quote "the grass is greener where you fertilize it" and I think it could apply as the ultimate lesson to take away from Coraline. The Other Mother and the Other Home seem great at first, until Coraline realizes it is all a facade (that grass is fertilized with bullshit!) and recognizes that maybe her home and her real parents aren't so bad. In the end, it comes down to putting your best effort into your life to make it a good one. That means sacrifice and give & take... Coraline had to learn the hard way that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and that she had to put some effort into cultivating a good life with her parents. In the end, this story presents a topic that I think a lot of folks (kids and adults alike) could learn from.
Ultimately, I loved this tale. I would recommend this to fans of Gaiman's work and graphic novels. I have already recommended it to my middle school classroom - where it was promptly picked up and devoured.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

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