Coraline, by Neil GaimanRead about the other entries on the list.
One of Gaiman’s earlier novels, with a successful movie adaptation from Laika Studios, Coraline is one of those deceptively terrifying books that draw you with mysterious descriptions, and then hold you tight as the scares and the creeps come faster and faster. Coraline and her family move to a new house, and young Coraline is pretty fed up with it; it’s old, it’s boring, and her parents do not give her the attention she wants. But when she discovers the key to a locked door in the living room, she goes through into a different world: a big, beautiful, lavish house, with parents who shower her with attention and treats, with entertainment around every corner. It is perfect. So perfect, she doesn’t even mind that her Other Mother and Other Father have buttons for eyes. And that they don’t like when she leaves. And, in fact, don’t want her to go at all. Gaiman’s spooky story is a prime illustration of how sometimes, an imperfect world is a perfectly fine thing, and that what you journey to find may have been in front of you all along.
Coraline appears among Keith Donohue's five notable books about puppets and living dolls, Christopher Edge's top ten parallel worlds in fiction, Aliette de Bodard's five creepiest monsters in fantasy, Shaun Byron Fitzpatrick's top seven awesomely scary novels, and Sam Leith's top ten alternative realities.