- 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: 6.8 x 2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,339 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inkheart Hardcover – October 1, 2003
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Meggies 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 books 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 Meggies 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 Funkes 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.
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The book is also, in a sense, all about books, and I love books about books. If you have a fairly good knowledge of classic children's literature, you'll enjoy those connections immensely. If you like books, particularly children's books, and you like fantasy and adventure, you will probably enjoy this book.
Quotations are used from many other children's and fantasy books. Those make the story even more enjoyable.
The writing is creative and interesting, the plot is fantastical and convoluted, the characters are varied and mostly interesting, sometimes likable and sometimes detestable, of course. Some characters aren't clearly good guys or bad guys, which is similar to life as we know it.
On the down side, which is minor, I am wondering just who this book was written for. I'm told it's children's literature. But children do not need to read about this much violence, surely, even when it is committed mostly by beings from books rather than reality? I don't know. I also find some plot twists to be very unbelievable, but it is a fantasy, after all.
I read this book on the Kindle (as I read most books) and only noticed one potential typo in the book (which is amazingly good, really).
The PLOT deviates some, so even if you've seen the movie, you'd be missing out not reading Funke's wonderful writing
You get the plot from other reviews', so I will leave you with this. There are NOT too many books of this genre that are truly original. This is. There are not too many books out there that don't fall into some campy dialogue. This doesn't.
I go through books, Kindle and otherwise, and after reading Inkheart, I went and purchased the trilogy hardcopy (of which I'm terribly discerning about what takes up space) because I think this is a classic.
My son just read it as well, he's 8, but reading beyond his 2nd grade level, he finished and immediately asked when he's getting the next one!! And has asked me twice, "Is it here yet?"
I think it's a testament to Funke's writing, that she can so capture myself and my son so completely.
The writing style is great. The author is really good at writing well and I enjoyed that very much. Also, the story had a lot of potential and I enjoyed many parts of the setting of the characters. I liked the village that the author lived in and his family. I liked the cranky old woman Elinor, her house, and her character development. But the story had flaws that I found hard to get past. The story was slow in many parts. I don't need to have action on every page, but many times there would be 40 pages of the characters running around and doing nothing. I also though Capricorn was as menacing as the bully from high school. Honestly, he didn't really scare me. Meggie wasn't even scared for the longest time until she let her imagination get to her. Dustfinger kept going on and on about how bad of a man he was, but all he does is order people around, threaten them by sending his men to stand outside of people's homes, and burn books/houses. I don't need him to be gutting and slicing people open, but he didn't seem anything more than a bully. He did kidnap people....but he still fed them and gave them hay to sleep on. He's pretty accommodating for an evil guy who's trying to threaten a family and bring an immortal evil being into this world.
The snakes were getting on my nerves too. I guess there's snakes in the hills, but the characters saw one. Big deal? There were parts that could have been taken out or altered. I finally got excited toward the last 150 pages or so when Meggie is trying to save them all. And of course, Mo finally decides to do something other than sit and stare out a window. It's so annoying that he tells Meggie nothing. That could have gotten the story rolling a bit faster if he had.
Thanks to Elinor who contacted the old man, they were saved thanks to his words he gave to Meggie! Thanks Elinor! Someone was thinking! The ability that Mo and Meggie have is great, but Mo can't control it. Meggie, on the other hand, seems to control it just fine when she read her characters out of the story. I was confused though because I thought, "Is this the first time she ever read out loud? Since she didn't know about her dad's gift, and kids naturally read out loud when learning, how come this gift is just now showing up? Did her dad tell her not to read out loud and I don't remember reading that part? She feel strongly about her favorite stories when she was little, so why did her gift just NOW show up??" This is the first time she really does anything. I know that many 12 year olds would be just standing in the background unsure of what to do if this was really happening, but since this is a book and she's one of the main characters, I expected her to stand out a little more. I loved the book when I was younger, but I think it's because I was young. I love reading and have become a bit picky about what I read. I'm struggling with trying to go forward with the trilogy. I may end up either donating it or keeping it and hoping that my kids enjoy (otherwise I would carried it around all these years for nothing!).
I finishd it on January 1st (new years day). I had the next book (Inkdeath) waiting for me whhn I had finishhd Inkspell. So far all the bools in the trilogey have been great. You should try them. Well? Why don't you?