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Coraline, by Neil Gaiman (Books 2007, 8)

Gaiman can write great kids’ stories too, it seems. Is there anything he can’t turn his hand to?

It’s a fine, mildly scary tale of a girl in a big old house, with the end of the summer holidays looming, parents who can’t give her much attention, and no sign of any friends.

Then she finds a doorway into another world.

It’s like a shadow version of the real world, with copies of her parents and the neighbours, with buttons for eyes.

And there’s a talking cat. Recommended.