I read to my children a lot. Every night if I can. And while it’s one of my favorite things to do with them–especially now that my older two have embraced the magic of being read aloud to–I’m not often truly captivated by what I read them. Sure I enjoy it. We laugh and imagine and re-read passages. But something extraordinary happened with our newest read aloud: I’ve been cheating, reading ahead while they’re gone or busy with other things. I can’t stop reading. I want to know what happens. I think about the book while I’m doing other tasks. On one hand this isn’t uncommon, I’m a huge fan of middle grade and young adult fiction. But on the other it hasn’t happened in such a long time, especially with a book for this age range, that I’ve completely fallen in love.
I’d heard about INKHEART by Cornelia Funke for a long time but missed the initial craze since my boys were so young when it was getting a lot of press. The first book in the trilogy came out the year my oldest son was born and we were more into Sandra Boynton at the time (Farmyard Dance, anyone?). But I picked up a copy over a year ago when I took said son on his birthday date to the bookstore. And there it sat, on the shelf in our living room, until two weeks ago.
They beg me to keep reading every night but I stop after two chapters. Some books need to be savored and this is one of them.
One cruel night, Meggie’s father reads aloud from Inkheart, and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of the book, landing in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie’s in the middle of the kind of adventure she thought only took place in fairy tales. Somehow she must master the magic that has conjured up this nightmare. Can she change the course of the story that has changed her life forever?
Why I love this book:
- The writing is briliant–flat out amazing.
- My boys don’t want to stop reading. They bring it to me at the oddest times and ask for just one more chapter.
- Not once have my children complained that the main character is a girl.
- Meggie’s father is a book binder and her world is filled with the magic of books. A reverence for the written word leaks from every page.
- There is mystery and adventure and magic. Fire eaters and little horned animals. Books that come to life when you read them aloud. Literally.
- I have NO idea how it’s going to end.
- Meggie is smart and literate and everything I would want my daughter to be, if I had one. As it stands I pray my boys will marry a girl like Meggie one day.
If you’ve not read this book go get a copy. Either for yourself or for your children. It doesn’t matter. But read it. And then come back to tell me how much you adored it.
About Ariel Lawhon
Ariel Lawhon is the co-founder of She Reads, novelist, blogger, storyteller, and life-long reader. She lives in Texas with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.