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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Each chapter begins with a quote from another children's book, both foreshadowing the chapter and giving pleasure to bibliophiles. And the whole thing is a paean to books, authors, reading, and especially reading aloud.
Tweens get messages about family loyalty, loving books, and fighting for good.
Positive Role Models
Brave bibliophile Meggie is a stalwart heroine.
Violence & Scariness
Not much actually described, but much threatened, hinted at, and assumed. Guns and knives are prominent. Several kidnappings.
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Infrequent use of "damn" and "hell."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, while this is fantasy, the villains are really quite wicked, and Meggie is often in mortal danger. There's an edge to the villainy here that some kids find enthralling, others disturbing. Book-loving kids and their parents will enjoy the literary references and celebration of books in the lives of the heroes.
Is It Any Good?
As with Cornelia Funke's previous book, The Thief Lord, some kids will be put off by the leisurely pace of INKHEART, while others will be enthralled by the unusual story. But despite the slow pacing and repetition, this is a rousing adventure. Meggie is a stalwart heroine, and the villains are truly creepy and brutal (perhaps too much so for some children). Each chapter begins with a quote from another children's book, both foreshadowing the chapter and giving pleasure to bibliophiles. The whole thing is a paean to books, authors, reading, and especially reading aloud.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.