I think it's the first time CSM has ever given something a rating that's too low. Coraline isn't violent, sexual or inappropriate in any way other than the fact that it is utterly disturbing. Younger kids of average intelligence who read the book might be a bit scared of the other mother, but at 8yo they should be old enough to know that she's not real. If you have a gifted 8yo though, they will most likely understand the implications of sewing buttons into someone's eyes. The saying 'the eyes are windows to the soul' is fitting here. The other mother is literally trying to steal Coraline's soul, a concept that is frightening and hard to comprehend. I think this is more of a 'ten and up' book, especially because children will get more out of it if they truly understand the story and the messages of being grateful. At 13 this is one of my favorite books, but when I was younger I just thought it was weird. It's a fantastic story but don't assume it's ok just because it's a kids' book. Coraline (the movie) and Hp6 (which features zombies) are both rated PG. If your child really wants to read it, I highly reccomend reading it first and deciding for yourself. A summary doesn't really cover the many layers. Coraline is a fantastic female role-model, but this is one of those books (like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) where the age of the main character shouldn't be the same as the age of the reader.