Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

What a deliciously creepy tale! Love the characters, love the imagery, and love the ending.
Now, on a personal note. . .
Every now and then, a book will have a phrase or passage that puts into words something I have felt and didn't know how to say. These are the kinds of passages that stick with me and make a character or story really resonate for me. There were a couple of these passages that stood out for me in this story--one speaking to how we see ourselves, and another describing a different type of love--one that may sadly be more common than it ought to be.
On Page 67, Coraline has just woken up in her "other" bedroom. "For a moment she felt utterly dislocated. She did not know where she was; she was not entirely sure who she was. It is astonishing just how much of what we are can be tied to the beds we wake up in in the morning, and it is astonishing how fragile that can be."
On Page 106, Coraline's "other mother" has told her again "You know that I love you." This sets Coraline to thinking:
"And, despite herself, Coraline nodded. It was true: the other mother loved her. But she loved Coraline as a miser loves money, or a dragon loves its gold. In the other mother's button eyes, Coraline knew that she was a possession, nothing more. A tolerated pet, whose behavior was no longer amusing.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden

Have you ever felt like your schoolwork is killing you? Well, Otto Malpense has been kidnapped and imprisoned in a school that might literally be the death of him. The story begins as Otto wakes to find himself strapped into a helicopter flying over an ocean. Upon landing he is introduced to the strange island world of H.I.V.E., the Higher Institute of Villainous Education, an exclusive school for turning out world-class villains. There is no communication with the outside world. There seems to be only one way in and no way out.
My son (5th grader at the time) handed this to me after he finished it and insisted that I read it. Before he finished it, he requested a trip to the local bookstore to purchase Book 2 in the series. That's recommendation enough for me! Vivid imagery, great adventure, cool characters and just enough mystery to have my son and I discussing what might come next. Looking forward to more from Mr. Walden.