Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, takes readers on a journey that pushes the boundaries of children’s literature.
This story is a highly acclaimed literary classic that, because of its dark content, has received both praise and criticism by the audience.
From its publication date, it has received many major awards including the Hugo and the Nebula Awards for Best Novella. On the other hand, it has been challenged in some school libraries, because some people believe it is too scary for the younger readers. As Neil Gaiman said on his twitter account,
“you have to dream @LKHamilton: you work at getting your books burned & I’ll work on getting banned. We’re only as good as our goals.”
However, this story, as a novella or a movie, has been highly successful in connecting with people of all ages and backgrounds since it has sold over one million copies and has been translated into thirty languages. Therefore, its popularity, despite its controversiality, could be attributed to its themes of courage, family and intentions.
Coraline makes readers of all ages understand the importance of being courageous, grateful to the family and weary of people’s intentions. Therefore, because these themes are universal, the story impacts readers of all backgrounds. Additionally, by adding dark elements to the story the author managed to make it unique from other children’s story, even with its overused themes.
Coraline, teaches readers that courage helps people get through the toughest situations; and that true courage is shown by making decisions and acting on them when fear has overtaken the body. Too, that family is important and irreplaceable, even if they may not be too interesting or complaisant. Finally, it warns readers of the intentions of those who swear to love and protect, because they could be using lies to get what they want which might be of evil intentions.
To summarize, Coraline is not only a story about a girl that goes through an adventure, but a story that aims to teach readers about important themes that can help develop skills that will improve their lives.
“Farytales are more than true; not only because they tell us that dragons exists, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. -G. K. Chesterton” (1)
The movie is a pretty accurate representation, with only slight differences, of the book. Therefore, I highly recommend it as well.