Cover art: 3/5 The cover is kind of weird. The only thing I like about it is that it shows how it is very fantastical and there are all of the mythical creatures that are featured in Inkheart. It also show (with the hand reaching out) that the world of the novels we read are connected to our physical world.
Age Limit: 9 and up seems appropriate
Author: Cornelia Funke
Mo and Meggie have something in common: their love of reading. Mo is a bookbinder and tries to find as many “sick” books (what he calls damaged books that need his care) as he can. He searches all around in used bookstores and people who specifically call on his expertise, dragging his daughter, Meggie, around with him. Underneath this search for damaged books, though, is the whole reason behind his search: a book called “Inkheart.”
What’s so special about this book? Mo has a special talent that he discovered when he was a young boy, but then forgot about…until one night when he would lose someone very dear to him: his wife. No, she didn’t die. She disappeared into Inkheart. Whenever Mo reads out loud, whatever is on the page comes to life. The only thing is that when something comes out, something in this world goes in. So when Mo was reading Inkheart to his wife and daughter, Dustfinger and Capricorn came out, but his wife went in. That is the night that his search for her began.
Night after night he would read this story to try to find a hint of his wife, but whenever he read certain parts, nothing would ever come out. He did so for years, not having any luck. Meggie had no idea about her father’s talent. She only knew that her father never would read out loud to her. One night, while Meggie couldn’t sleep, she looked outside of her window to see a man standing outside of her window. She ran to get Mo and was shocked to find that there was a hint of recognition on her father’s face when he saw this strange man. The man was Dustfinger, the fictional character that Mo had read out of the book ten years earlier. He had been coming around for years trying to get Mo to read him back home to his wife, but Mo refused.
The next day Mo got Meggie to pack all of her things and they left there and went to the house of his wife’s aunt. Meggie didn’t understand why, but Mo had a reason. Dustfinger had told them that Capricorn (the antagonist in Inkheart and the other character that Mo brought to this world) was looking for Mo and had sent his men to capture him. Little did he know, Capricorn’s castle was only a few hours from where the aunt’s house is. Capricorn wanted Mo’s voice to make him rich by reading treasure out of different books. Mo though he was going in the opposite direction, but Dustfinger led him straight to Capricorn’s men. His men found Mo and Meggie, and took them.
That’s only the beginning of the story. It’s really only scratching the surface. There is so much that happens in this novel that you would have to read (because I’m not spoiling it for you). This is one of my favorite trilogies (Inkspell follows and then Inkdeath), because it is all about reading (and you know how much I love to do that). Each chapter (there are a lot of them!) begins with a quote from another novel or poem. I’ve actually been enticed to read other novels just from the quotes used in this novel! I actually saw the movie way before I even knew it was a book, and so after I read it, I obviously watched it again, and it is a LOT different than the book. They stay true to most of it, but they leave out a lot and even change some scenes. For example in the movie, they meet Dustfinger while out searching for books, instead of at their home. The ending also is neatly tied up and nothing like the book, which leaves questions unanswered and unresolved. Having said all of that, I absolutely love the movie! Cornelia Funke actually wrote the part of Mo with Brendan Frasier in mind. I really wish they would make Inkspell and Inkdeath into movies, but there are no plans for that as of right now (and it would be difficult since they would have to continue the storyline of the movie and not the book). I highly recommend this series to anyone, and especially those of us that have a passion for reading.
As always, the trailer: Obviously, the trailer shows a lot more than what I told you, so maybe it will entice you a bit more to read it! (Or at least watch it, if you hate to read!)
Happy reading everyone!
“The Printed Word: Readable – Usable – Recyclable – Sustainable – Biodegradable”