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Ever since her mother disappeared nine years ago, twelve-year-old Meggie and her father Mo have centered their lives on books and reading. Piles of books are stacked all over their house, Mo spends his days restoring books in his workshop, and Meggie often falls asleep with a book under her pillow. Mysteriously enough, though, Meggie realizes that she has never heard Mo read aloud.

When she discovers Mo's secret --- that he can literally read characters from books into life --- Meggie begins to think that there might be more to her mother's disappearance than she has always been told. And when one of the menacing characters from a book she has read shows up at her front door, Meggie discovers that she is in for a quest as thrilling as any adventure tale.

The language of INKHEART is smooth and engrossing with only a few awkward slip-ups to indicate that it was translated from the original German. Meggie and Mo's story is exciting, but it takes its time --- if the book has a fault, it's that its pace sometimes flags to the point that it will lose readers. But the kids (and adults) who will love INKHEART the most are those who truly love reading. Booklover Meggie constantly compares her own escapades to characters from familiar stories, and each chapter is introduced by a quote from a classic children's book.

It is not a stretch to say that INKHEART, with its broad fantasy and memorable characters, will be a classic someday, too.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on October 1, 2003

by Cornelia Funke

  • Publication Date: October 1, 2003
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: The Chicken House
  • ISBN-10: 0439531640
  • ISBN-13: 9780439531641