Cornelia Funke is the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of The Thief Lord, Dragon Rider, and the Inkheart trilogy, along with many other chapter and picture books for younger readers. She lives in Los Angeles, California, in a house filled with books.
Tackling Funke's (The Thief Lord) meaty, intricately plotted tale of magic and books, Redgrave colors her reading with appropriately varying degrees of suspense, revelation and drama. Twelve-year-old Meggie, a self-proclaimed bookworm, finds it odd that her bookbinder father, Mo, has never read aloud to her. But when a mysterious man named Dustfinger appears in the rainy shadows of the garden one night, Meggie begins to unravel the secret her father has kept all her life: when Mo reads aloud from books, the characters come to life and appear before him. This magical power proves dangerous, as characters from a certain book-Inkheart-are on the loose and after Mo. Many twists and turns that will particularly intrigue those who love books unfold before Meggie ultimately learns that she and her father have something in common when it comes to magic. Redgrave's voice takes on growling, sometimes whispery qualities as she portrays villains; a brighter inquisitive tone prevails as Meggie makes observations and interacts with the other characters. The end result is a satisfying listen, perfect for long winter evenings by the fire. Ages 11-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Gr 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.