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by Neil Gaiman

Coraline Theme of Courage

Coraline is up there with the most courageous kids of all time. As she explains, what really makes you brave is doing something even when you're scared. This is the sort of courage Harry Potter had when he deliberately walked into a show-down fight with Voldemort or the courage Katniss had when she signed up for the Hunger Games, knowing exactly what she was in for. In Coraline, our heroine has a special kind of courage, fighting back against the other mother totally alone. In the end, her courage gives her more confidence, which of course will mean even more courage in the future.

Questions About Courage

  1. How does Coraline's story about her dad and the wasps seem to sum up the book's theme of courage?
  2. When does the black cat show courage in the other world?
  3. What do you think was the bravest thing Coraline did in the novel?
  4. Do you think it took more courage for Coraline to find her parents and escape the other world, or to trap the other mother's hand in the real world after she thought it was all over? Why?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

If Coraline had been trapped in the other world, her parents wouldn't have been brave enough to come save her.

Coraline was actually a little reckless in her courage – she could have gotten herself killed!

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