When Yeats’ father’s mental problems begin to threaten his parent’s marriage, the family makes a trip to Gran’s house—a place his father hasn’t visited in twenty years and where his problems all began. From Gran, Yeats begins to learn about the disappearance of a childhood friend (Shari) that drove his father mad. But the pieces of the puzzle don’t quite fit together until Yeats discovers two magic bookends and suddenly finds himself swept up in an adventure inside the book of One Thousand and One Nights. Yeats is determined to rescue Shari from the book in order to save his father’s mind and his parents’ marriage, but the dangerous story will test his courage and survival skills.
Yeats’ story is sure to strike a chord with all of the readers who have ever wished to join characters inside a book. The story was intriguing enough to keep me reading, but awkward writing, flat characters, and overplayed suspense toward the beginning of the novel kept me from being completely engaged. I would recommend this book to middle grade readers looking for a light fantasy adventure. Readers looking for a more thoroughly developed and gripping metaliterary fantasy will be more satisfied with Cornelia’ Funke’s phenomenal Inkheart trilogy.