INKHEART by Cornelia Funke

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Meggie’s father, Mo, is a book doctor.  He repairs old books with loving care and encourages Meggie in her own love of books and stories.  But Mo never reads aloud.  Meggie has never given this too much thought until a mysterious man called Dustfinger shows up at their house in the middle of the night, and Meggie’s world is turned upside down.  She and her father are forced to flee from some sort of evil man by the name of Capricorn, and no one will explain to Meggie what is going on, who Capricorn and Dustfinger are, or what all of this has to do with a book called Inkheart.  Meggie, Mo, and Dustfinger seek refuge at the home of their book-obsessed relative, Elinor.  But it isn’t long before Mo’s past catches up with them.  When a bunch of thugs steal Mo and Inkheart, Meggie learns of her father’s ability to read characters out of books, discovers the truth about her mother’s disappearance nine years earlier, and prepares to embark on a dangerous adventure to rescue her father from the clutches of Capricorn.

This fantasy adventure will greatly appeal to all readers who have ever imagined joining characters in the world of their story–or having those characters come to life in their own lives.  It is a long book, but fast-paced with beautiful imagery and complex characters.  I also recommend the audio book–although it is quite long (15 hrs!)–as Lynn Redgrave’s performance really brings the book to life.

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