Coraline has won a bunch of awards, including a 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella, a 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novella, and a 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers. (Source.)
Coraline took Neil Gaiman over ten years to write. He started it as a story for his oldest daughter, but by the time it was finished, it was more appropriate for his younger daughter. Time flies! (Source: Coraline, HarperCollins Ebook, Neil Gaiman's introduction.)
Coraline's name actually came about by mistake. Neil Gaiman made a typo when typing "Caroline" and he ended up liking Coraline better. Later, he found out that Coraline is a real name: you just don't hear it that much anymore. (Source: Coraline, HarperCollins Ebook, Neil Gaiman's introduction).
The movie version of Coraline differs some from the novel. One of the biggest changes comes in the addition of Coraline's friend, Wybie Lovat, who – as we know – wasn't around in the book.
Coraline is part of a long tradition of kids going on adventures in crazy other worlds. Reviewers of Coraline have compared it to Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the Wizard of Oz, all of which star cool female heroines. (Source 1 and source 2.)