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Echoes of many earlier fantasies may be heard by readers of Coraline - Through the Looking-Glass, for instance, or Masefield's The Box of Delights, or Catherine Storr's Marianne Dreams. But such is the originality and power of Gaiman's splendid novel that future reviewers may find themselves noting 'echoes of Coraline'. Rarely has a child's rash crossing to a parallel world been managed with such nightmarish conviction. Coraline, bored stiff at the end of the summer holidays, trapped by bad weather and amiably neglected by two caring but busy parents, finds her way through the wall to the flat next door. It is (or seems at first) an exact copy of her own, but sinister differences soon reveal themselves. Another mother holds power in this new world. She seems loving and indulgent, but soon proves hungry, menacing and evil. Coraline, a girl of spirit and resource, rescues not only herself but her true parents and the souls of three dead children from a chilling entrapment. When the battle is not quite won, one of the children tells her, 'Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.' Coraline is all these things, and emerges victorious. Sometimes funny, always creepy, genuinely moving, this marvellous spine-chiller will appeal to readers from nine to ninety.