Coraline by Janice Dreese Summary
Coraline Jones and her family move from Pontiac, Michigan, to Ashland, Oregon's Pink Palace Apartments. As her parents struggle to complete their gardening catalogue, Coraline is often left alone and meets their new neighbors, including Mr. Sergey Alexander Bobinsky, a Russian circus mouse trainer, Misses April Spink and Miriam Forcible, two once-famous and retired actresses, Wyborne "Wybie" Lovat, the talkative grandson of Pink Palace's landlady, and a mysterious black cat. Wybie gives Coraline a button-eyed rag doll he discovered that eerily resembles her. The doll lures Coraline to a small door in the apartment that is bricked up and can only be unlocked by a button-shaped key. That night, a mouse guides Coraline through the door, now a portal to an �Other World� more colorful and cheerful than her real home. Coraline meets her Other Mother and Other Father, button-eyed doppelg�ngers of her parents that appear more attentive and caring. After dinner, Coraline goes to sleep in her Other Bedroom, only to awaken in her real bedroom the next morning. After meeting neighbors Mr Bobinsky and Miss Spink and Forcible, Wybie tells her about his grandmother's twin sister who disappeared in the apartment as a child. Undeterred, Coraline visits the Other World the following two nights, meeting the button-eyed Other Mr Bobinsky, the Other Misses Spink and Forcible, and the Other Wybie, who is mute. On her third visit, the black cat follows her and is able to speak in the Other World. The Other Mother invites Coraline to stay in the Other World forever, on the condition she has buttons sewn over her eyes. Horrified, Coraline attempts to flee but fails. After questioning the Other Father, Coraline has a conversation with the cat as they walk into the empty part of the world the Other Mother created. After breaking the handles of the locked door which leads to the room where the portal is, the Other Mother has blocked the portal, transforms into a menacing version of herself and imprisons Coraline behind a mirror. There, Coraline meets the ghosts of the Other Mother's previous child victims, including the sister of Wybie's grandmother. The spirits reveal that the Other Mother, whom they call the �Beldam,� is actually an evil witch that used rag dolls like Coraline's to spy on them, taking advantage of their unhappy lives and luring them into the Other World with happier and joyful lives. After agreeing to let the Beldam sew buttons on their eyes to let them stay, the Beldam locked them in the mirror and "consumed" their lives, leaving their souls trapped. To free their souls, Coraline promises to find the children's real eyes.