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Inkheart Hardcover – October 1, 2003


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Inkheart + Inkdeath (Inkheart Trilogy) + Inkspell (Inkheart Trilogy)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House; First Edition edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439531640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439531641
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (747 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Meggie’s father, Mo, has an wonderful and sometimes terrible ability. When he reads aloud from books, he brings the characters to life--literally. Mo discovered his power when Maggie was just a baby. He read so lyrically from the the book Inkheart, that several of the book’s wicked characters ended up blinking and cursing on his cottage floor. Then Mo discovered something even worse--when he read Capricorn and his henchmen out of Inkheart, he accidentally read Meggie’s mother in.

Meggie, now a young lady, knows nothing of her father's bizarre and powerful talent, only that Mo still refuses to read to her. Capricorn, a being so evil he would "feed a bird to a cat on purpose, just to watch it being torn apart," has searched for Meggie's father for years, wanting to twist Mo's powerful talent to his own dark means. Finally, Capricorn realizes that the best way to lure Mo to his remote mountain hideaway is to use his beloved, oblivious daughter Meggie as bait!

Cornelia Funke’s imaginative ode to books and book lovers is sure to be enjoyed by fans of her breakout debut, The Thief Lord, and young readers who enjoyed the similarly themed The Great Good Thing by Roderick Townley. (Ages 10 to 15) --Jennifer Hubert

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie, 12, has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. Things change after a visit from a scarred man who calls himself Dustfinger and who refers to Mo as Silvertongue. Meggie learns that her father has been keeping secrets. He can "read" characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released Dustfinger and other characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie's mother disappeared into the story. Mo also released Capricorn, a sadistic villain who takes great pleasure in murdering people. He has sent his black-coated henchmen to track down Mo and intends to force him to read an immortal monster out of the story to get rid of his enemies. Meggie, Mo, Dustfinger, and Meggie's great-aunt Elinor are pursued, repeatedly captured, but manage to escape from Capricorn's henchmen as they attempt to find the author of Inkheart in the hope that he can write a new ending to the story. This "story within a story" will delight not just fantasy fans, but all readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters. Pair this title with Roderick Townley's The Great Good Thing (2001) and Into the Labyrinth (2002, both Atheneum) for a wonderful exploration of worlds within words.
Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Cornelia Funke is one of today's most beloved writers of magical stories for children. She is the author of The Thief Lord, Dragon Rider, Inkheart, Inkspell, the Ghosthunters series, When Santa Fell to Earth, and Igraine the Brave. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California, in a house full of books.

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Customer Reviews

Maybe that's why there was one summer where I would read this book, come to the last page, and then just start over.
pandasweatshirt
The story itself is very compelling, but what really makes this book are the wonderful and interesting characters that are sprinkled throughout the novel.
Stefan Yates
I know its a children's book, but it felt like the author didn't want to you to feel much of anything for the characters.
P. Eberhardt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 44 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Although I haven't read the author's previous work, The Thief Lord, I eagerly delved into Inkheart. The book's size, a staggering 534 pages, didn't faze me because the pacing was so expertly achieved. The book felt like it was made of only around 200 pages. Cornelia Funke constructs her sentences beautifully, transporting readers instantly to Elinor's Italian house, Capricorn's abandoned Italian village, and even somewhat Meggie and Mo's house. The characters seem as though they were real, and I enjoyed the charming references to some of Meggie's favorite books, several of which I have also read. One of these amusing references is to Lord of the Rings, referred to as the "hairy-footed people's quest" in Inkheart. This is truly the book lover's book, because unless you've read the book or seen the movie or are extremely clever, you couldn't guess it. This novel keeps you guessing until the very end of the book when the stunning conclusion grabs you and won't let go. I look forward to more stunning works from Cornelia Funke in the future!
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82 of 97 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
From the very first pages of this wonderfully well constructed tale, to the very last page, I was hooked. The words of the author evoke wonderfully clear pictures in the reader's mind and the air of suspense is maintained without terrifying younger readers. I would reccommend this book to any reader from fifth grade to adult. The characters were believable and, as a reader, I cared what happened to them. The reverence for books made it doubly rewarding. ...
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131 of 158 people found the following review helpful By bensmomma on January 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
We liked this one even better than Funke's most recent work, "The Thief Lord." Inkheart's premise is even more engaging: Meggie's dad, a bookbinder, is so marvelous at reading out loud that many years ago he "read" the villain Capricorn from a book called "Inkheart" into reality. The villain then kidnapped Meggie's mom. Meggie and her dad must find them and trick them back into the book.
Although Inkheart is a long book (500+ pages), Funke establishes the thrills and the threat in the book's premise almost immediately, on a dark and stormy night and the day following when Meggie and her dad first try to make their escape. The narrative continues to an isolated village in Italy where Meggie encounters a menagerie of minor evil characters who have also escaped from the book.
Meggie is an engaging and spunky heroine that will appeal to both boy and girl readers.
A nice feature of the book is its general love for books - dad Mo is a bookbinder, aunt Elinor is a book collector with a huge library. Clearly Funke is not a lightweight trying to cash in on the Harry Potter fantasy kick; she conveys her love of books and language in a way that will enthuse any reader from 8 to 80.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Christina Watson on January 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I orginally bought this book for my daughter to read, but I ended up devouring the book in a day. The imagery that the author uses is vivid. The idea that someone could actually read characters out of a book grabbed me right away- truly a Pandora's box.

The plot has a great layout first making you wonder 'just what is this book really about?' The hook is set and the couriosity activated with the musings of Meggie as to her Father's unusual actions and the appearence of an odd stranger that seems to know her father quite well. As more was revealed I was enveloped by the ethical or moral dilema of Mo, Meggie and the other characters on the good team that are in fact responsible for tossing the snowball down the hill in the first place.

I was excited to see the next book in the series and devoured it just as quickly. I anxiously await the next book as well as the movie I have heard is in the making.

If you like a fanasty book set in modern day Earth, like the Harry Potter books (among others) then I highly recomend this book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Hamilton on June 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am 40yrs old and I don't read. NOT AT ALL!! There was a book fair at my job and as I was looking through the books, I came across a couple of Cornelia Funke's books. The first book I bought was "The Thief Lord" (which is a good book.) After I finished reading it I enjoyed it so much that I bought "Dragon Rider" then "Inkheart" which was recommended by one of the vendors for the book fair. When I started reading Inkheart I couldn't put it down. Since I'm a slow reader, I could grasp all of the details and it takes you on a magical ride. I know kids love it but I will also recommend it for adults as well. If you want to step away from reality sometime, this book is the way to go. The characters are alive and vivid and they really catch your attention. I'm not going to give what happens away, but I think you should buy this book. Definitely a treasure. I recently bought "Inkspell" (the sequel to "Inkheart") and can't wait to get into it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
German author Cornelia Funke rocketed into international bestseller status with the Venetian fantasy book "Thief Lord." Here she produces a different kind of fantasy in "Inkheart," a slower but pleasant fantasy that bumps into some pacing problems.
Meggie lives with her father Mo, a bookbinder who repairs old books with crumbling spines, broken covers and bindings. Though she loves her father, Meggie is puzzled by all the unanswered questions she has, like where her mother is and why Mo suddenly makes them move without warning, as if he's trying to escape something. One night a strange man -- Dustfinger -- arrives at Meggie's house, speaks with her father, and vanishes again.
The next morning, Mo and Meggie leave again suddenly to stay with eccentric Elinor, a tough woman with an obsessive love of books. Dustfinger comes along with them -- along with a mysterious green book that is, for some reason, very valuable. Meggie finds out just how valuable when her father is kidnapped by the thugs of the evil, sadistic Capricorn -- Mo is able to bring book characters out of their books and into the real world. And Capricorn is willing to use Meggie to make Mo do exactly what he wants.
"Inkheart" lacks some of the sparkle and memorable characters of "Thief Lord." Despite this, it's a solid fantasy story that manages to transcend what sounds like a very silly storyline. Okay, reading people in (Meg's mother) and out (Capricorn and his deformed thugs) sounds absurd even in a fantasy book, but Funke manages to pull it off in believable fashion.
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