Coraline is a girl who loves to explore and is many times dissatisfied with her parents. When they move to a flat in a very old house, there are a few rather odd neighbors (including two former actresses gone to seed who keep lots of dogs and a man working very hard on his mouse circus), but no other children. To entertain herself, she explores the house and the yard - discovering a door that is sometimes bricked up and sometimes is not. Going through it, she discovers an even stranger world where everyone has buttons for eyes, animals talk, and her "other mother" wants her to stay for good.
This is a scary book - many children no doubt fantasize at times about having other parents or having their own parents disappear, and the story plays on what that might really be like. It's not for very sensitive children. With that being said, it's also very fun! Coraline is a brave, resourceful, kind of odd girl, and the cat is completely delightful. Kids who like scary should definitely give this a try.