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STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

SCARS book cover

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself--before it's too late.

Awards: #1 in the Top 10 ALA Quick Picks, ALA's Rainbow List, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, Staff Pick for Teaching Tolerance.

Yes, it's my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

HUNTED book cover

Caitlyn, a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power at all can kill her, must decide between saving herself or saving the world.

Awards: A finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.

PARALLEL VISIONS book cover

Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, and a schoolmate killing herself, Kate must trigger more attacks--but that could kill her.

Awards: 2013 Gold Winner, Wise Bear Digital Awards, YA Paranormal category.

STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

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Teen Books That Have Something to Say


Inkheart

Review

Inkheart
by Cornelia Funke
The Chicken House/Scholastic,(2003)
ISBN-10: 0439531640

My rating:



Rain fell that night, a fine, whispering rain. Many years later, Meggie had only to close her eyes and she could still hear it, like tiny fingers tapping on the windowpane. A dog barked somewhere in the darkness, and however often she tossed and turned Meggie couldn't get to sleep.
The book she had been reading was under her pillow, pressing its cover against her ear as if to lure her back into its printed pages. "I'm sure it must be very comfortable sleeping with a hard, rectangular thing like that under your head," her father had teased the first time he found a book under her pillow. "Go on, admit it, the book whispers its story to you at night."
--Inkheart, Cornelia Funke, p. 1-2.

Meggie's father, Mo, loves books, and has taught her to love them, too. But he never reads aloud to her, and didn't even when she was young. She had to learn to read to herself--something that has always seemed strange, when Mo loves books so much.

Mo works as a bookbinder, and, even though they move frequently, Meggie is happy with their life. But then one day a visitor comes, and everything changes. While visiting Meggie's great-aunt Elinor, Mo is kidnapped, and Meggie finds out the truth behind why Mo never read aloud to her. Mo has a magical--and dangerous--gift. Whenever he reads aloud from books, he brings characters and items right out of the book, into the world. And sometimes he even reads people into a book. Now, some of the characters Mo read out of a book called Inkheart have captured him, and are trying to force him to read a more frightening character into their world.

Meggie, along with her great-aunt and the author of Inkheart, has to try to save her father--and in the process, she discovers some talents and strengths of her own, and a relative who she thought was lost to her forever.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable, satisfying, and gripping fantasy. Love of books, and all the things books can give us, is woven throughout the whole story, and for readers who love books, adds to the enjoyment of this novel. Once you start reading, you won't want to stop.

Funke's writing is of a high caliber in this book--at times almost lyrical, the writing is fresh and alive. Funke uses setting well to show character's emotions, and has a great sense of what evokes emotion and wonder. Secrets and mysteries are skillfully used to propel the story forward. The characters are rounded and believable, many of the villains having many dimensions and grey areas to them. Most of the characters, even the villains, change and grow throughout the novel, and this adds to the depth and texture of the story. The writing is beautiful.

Meggie, the main character, is truly a hero--brave and strong, even though scared, and able to do the right thing when it counts. She is intelligent, resourceful, develops her own magical talent, and grows and changes throughout the story. The reader comes to care deeply about what happens to her and her family.

The story has great suspense, yet woven throughout the story is kindness and love, and the reinforcement that those are the things which matter, and which give us power. The ending is satisfying---not too sweet, but not sad or depressing, either. Most things that needed to get wrapped up get wrapped up, in one way or another.

Love fantasy and magic? Love books? This is the book for you! Thrilling, enjoyable, and utterly satisfying, it is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

-Added August 2005


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