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Parent reviews for Coraline

Common Sense says

Strange, surreal tale sure to creep kids out.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 23 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 70 reviews
Parent of a 1 and 6 year old Written byjandrewworld June 19, 2010

I think it really depends on your child when they should read it.

Before the film came out, on my little girl's 5th birthday, we read the book together. I had actually bought the book when I was dating my wife. Children do not see it as scary as adults see it. In fact, they see it as a wonderful adventure, where it gives some adults nightmares. I think the quote at the beginning of the book, describes it the best; "It's not that we teach children that dragons are real, but we teach them dragons can be defeated."

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 5 and 9 year old Written byiku_app April 8, 2010
Parent of a 1 year old Written byCindyAnderson47 January 15, 2010

If you like creepy, this is great!

I enjoyed the movie when I saw it, but the book is better, although a shorter time period. I enjoy Neil Gaiman's adult stories and this has the feel of one his short stories expanded. I don't really agree that this book is violent at all, though there are a few scary moments, and the over all feeling of the book is creepy. Tweens that enjoy the horror genre would get a lot out of this book and it's MUCH better written than most of what's out there in that vein. (Can I tell you how much I despise the Goosebumps books? They're like Harlequin romance novels for kids. Why do we encourage bad writing?)
Parent of a 11 year old Written byjespee November 6, 2009
I worry about what my 11 year-old daughter views, but unlike me; she is not as sensitive to certain subjects. At the end of the story my daughter turned to me and said, "That's why I should not go with strangers, even if they promise me good things; like toys or Disneyland." It began a conversation on why she should never talk to strangers. The story was positive for my daughter. If your child is sensitive than it's up to the parent to decide wether or not your child should view it. I was a little surprised with the story, I am somewhat sensitive as a parent; because I over worry.
Adult Written bysb34chick November 21, 2009

Much Better Than The Movie

This story is better than the movie because Coraline is not enticed into the fantasy world her "other mother" has created where everything has buttons for eyes. Somewhat creepy of a theme, but the story is told very well. The vocabulary and themes are on-par and the creativity of the storyline is impressive. Just be aware that it is a dark storyline, where good overcomes in the end.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byLuaith September 11, 2009

A liitle scary for grown ups, but a mysterious, exciting, and fun adventure for a child.....especially one a little tired of his parents.

I read it and screamed/gasped at one part. My 8 year old listened to it on CD & my 10 year old read the book (in one day). The 8 year old adored the book. The 10 year old said, "It wasn't scary mom." And this is the kid that runs out of the room during parts of the original Star Trek & Lost in Space series! I personally couldn't put the book down........SPOILER...........Like all the books I've read by Gaiman, this one has a sweet message with a nice ending....unlike scary Stephen King.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of an infant, infant, 3, and 5 year old Written byMississippiQueen January 7, 2009
Parent of a 17 year old Written bylove2 September 24, 2009


this book is sooo great!!! but younger kids that are 1-8 may think it's to creepy, scary, or they just wont understand the book at all. but for kids 9 and up if they like creepy scary books then bye them this book.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byjoolz_43344 February 10, 2009

love the imagination

The author has an amazing imagination and thought the setting was creative. It had some creepy parts to it, but overall, I really enjoyed the book. I can't wait to see the movie!
Parent of a 11, 15, and 18+ year old Written byJulieKryger1970 January 5, 2009
Adult Written bytteach March 22, 2012

Why push the occult on your kids?

Children sense that there is a witchcraft feel to this novella and have natural withdrawal from it unless encouraged to feel good about it and read it anyway.
Adult Written byJIDDINS October 28, 2015

An eerie and engaging tale full of teaching potential!

This short work is a brilliantly written Teen/YA example for the horror genre. I usually have my class read it in small groups around Halloween. The creepy setting and characters are vividly described and keep even the most skeptical of my 8th grade students involved in discussion. In typical Gaiman fashion, the book is absolutely packed with meaningful themes and metaphors which the students can, with guidance, unpack and apply to their own lives. I very highly recommend the novella!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bytimjeno March 27, 2009

Excellent for myself and my 5 and 6 y.o.

I read this myself first to make sure it would be alright and enjoyed it very much. I then read it over the course of several nights to my rather sensitive 5 year old son and 6 year old daughter. I planned the readings so we would end on "happy" parts but they both absolutely loved this book. There were no nightmares. My daughter insists that we read it again and she really liked the character of Coraline. Very well done!
Parent Written byAOwen239 November 7, 2008

loved it

great book . glad it going to be a movie.=]
Adult Written bymbccreamer April 9, 2008

Coraline Gives me the Creeps!

In a good way. This is another fine effort by author Neil Gaiman. I belive it is his first Children's novel. Coraline serves as a warning to the kind of trouble an unattended child (no matter what age) might get into...The story is a very well written moral tale about an ordinary girl, Coraline, who becomes a heroine exihibiting strength and cleverness in the end.
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written byMotherLove2 May 20, 2016


My daughter has read many adventure stories and graphic novels, including the Hilda series, Bone, and more. One look at a friend's book today has sent her into tear tonight. She can't get those images out of her head. She hasn't been spooked since she was three. Definitely not for everyone.
Parent of a 6, 11, and 16 year old Written byviolynn June 29, 2009
Parent of a 15 year old Written byredjed November 29, 2009

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 17 year old Written byMarienne M. September 6, 2017
Adult Written byM B. November 29, 2017

This is one of our favorite books!

My daughter is on her third time through this book. It is scary and kids who get scared should not read it. But, average kids who may not be into horror would still like it. The audio book is even better with Neil Gaiman reading it. It makes travel enjoyable! This is a story of bravery and really scary situations. Also, the movie is okay, but the book is really the place to be.

This title contains:

Positive role models