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Cornelia Funke

Cornelia Funke(1958- )
Cornelia Funke writes for children. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California, in a house full of books. Visit her website. Here’s the Inkheart movie website.

The Thief Lord: My kids love this fantasy set in Venice

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

One thing I love about summer vacation is that my 12 year old daughter Tali and I have time to read together. Our first book for the summer was Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord which, as Tali was thrilled to learn, takes place in Venice, a city she visited a couple of summers ago with my parents.

The story is about Boniface (Bo) and his big brother Prosper(o). Their parents are dead and their aunt wants to adopt only Bo because he’s cute and sweet. She plans to send Prospero to boarding school. So the boys run away to Venice, a city their mother loved. There they fall in with a small group of orphans who live in an abandoned theater and claim that a boy named The Thief Lord is their leader. He brings them the loot he steals and they sell it to Barbarosa, a corrupt red-haired shopkeeper. When Barbarosa offers the kids a lucrative job, they decide to take it. But they nee... Read More

Inkheart: Great premise weakly executed

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

The premise of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, that some have the ability to call out characters from books by reading aloud, is absolutely wonderful. At first, of course, one thinks how great to have such a talent — to call out Bilbo or Willy Wonka or Aladdin, but what if you couldn't then return them to their homes — how tragic and cruel for them. Or even worse, what if you couldn't control your talent, so reading aloud Lord of the Rings might mean you'd get to talk to a hobbit or an elf, but also means you could just as easily be suddenly facing a troll or an orc or even worse, Sauron himself. Adding another achingly sharp layer, what if whatever was called up from the book didn't simply appear but has to replace someone else in your world ... Read More

Inkspell: Funke’s best work to date

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

I have to admit that I've found Cornelia Funke's works for the most part to be wonderful concepts whose execution never quite matched their potential. Dragonrider I thought was her most successful work so far, mostly because it didn't reach quite so high. With Inkspell, however, Funke has finally meshed concept and execution together perfectly, creating her best piece of work so far.

Inkspell picks up about a year after the events of Inkheart, opening with Dustfinger finally achieving his long desire to return to Inkworld, the "book" world of Inkheart. In short order many of the major characters from Inkheart — Basta, Mortola, Meggie, Mo, Farid, and Resa also are read into Inkworld, though at different times and pla... Read More

Dragon Rider: Good sense of story and pace

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Dragon Rider is an early Cornelia Funke novel brought to the U.S. after the success of hermore recent The Thief Lord and Inkheart. Dragon Rider begins with a young dragon named Firedrake who starts off on a quest for the Rim of Heaven, a possibly mythical land where Firedrake and his fellow dragons hope to flee to in order to escape encroaching mankind whose earth-moving machines are on their way.

Firedrake leaves his valley with his friend Sorrel (a grumpy mushroom-loving brownie) and soon picks up a small helpful crew: a young orphan human named Ben, a homunculus named Twigleg, and a professor or archaeology and fabulous beings. He also receives help from some rats, the professor's family, and a many-eyed djinn. His journey to the Rim of Heaven is complicated by Nettlebrand, an a... Read More

Igraine the Brave: A sweet feminist children’s story

Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke

After finishing The Thief Lord, my daughter and I wanted to read more Cornelia Funke (pronounced “FOONK-ah”) so we picked up Igraine the Brave, a short novel that we listened to in audio format.

Igraine is a 12 year old girl who lives in a castle complete with a moat, drawbridge, stone lions and gargoyles, and lots of spiders (Igraine hates spiders). Her parents are famous magicians and her older brother is training with them. Igraine has no use for magic, though. She wants to be a knight. She gets her chance when her parents accidentally turn themselves into pigs just as the castle is under siege by enemy forces. The only way to turn her parents back into humans so they can protect the castle with their magic spells, is to make a potion that... Read More

Ruffleclaw: Silly children’s story narrated by the author

Ruffleclaw by Cornelia Funke

Ruffleclaw is a chapter book (114 pages) recently written and illustrated by Cornelia Funke, the German author and artist whose books (e.g., Inkheart, The Thief Lord, Dragon Rider) are loved by children and adults around the world. Ruffleclaw is translated into English by Oliver Latsch. I listened to the audio version which is read by the author and is just over 1.5 hours long.

Ruffleclaw is a furry red monster who lives under the toolshed in Tommy’s back yard. He thinks humans are icky (he calls them “slimy slugs”) but he loves their food, their cozy beds, and the music that he hears coming from Tommy’s mother’s piano. That’s why, against the advice of his monster friends, he decides to mo... Read More

More books by Cornelia Funke

Ghosthunters — (2006-2007) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Nine-year-old Tom can’t catch a break: He’s a klutz, his sister Lola pretty much hates his guts, and — and this is a BIG “and” — he just found a ghost camping out in his cellar. Lucky for Tom his grandma’s best friend just happens to be the world’s foremost ghosthunter. Under her expert tutelage, Tom learns the tools of the trade — which just happen to include buckets of graveyard dirt — and soon finds he has to face down not just the Averagely Spooky Ghost (ASG) in his basement but the Incredibly Revolting Ghost (IRG) in town. All while keeping the nettlesome Lola off his trail…

Cornelia Funke 1. Ghosthunter and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost 2. Ghosthunters and the Gruesome Invincible Lighting Ghost 3. Ghosthunters and the Totally Moldy Baroness! 4. Ghosthunters and The Muddy Monster Of Doom!Cornelia Funke 1. Ghosthunter and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost 2. Ghosthunters and the Gruesome Invincible Lighting Ghost 3. Ghosthunters and the Totally Moldy Baroness! 4. Ghosthunters and The Muddy Monster Of Doom!Cornelia Funke 1. Ghosthunter and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost 2. Ghosthunters and the Gruesome Invincible Lighting Ghost 3. Ghosthunters and the Totally Moldy Baroness! 4. Ghosthunters and The Muddy Monster Of Doom!Cornelia Funke 1. Ghosthunter and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost 2. Ghosthunters and the Gruesome Invincible Lighting Ghost 3. Ghosthunters and the Totally Moldy Baroness! 4. Ghosthunters and The Muddy Monster Of Doom!

Mirrorworld— (2010- ) Ages 9-12. Publisher: For the first time in his life, Jacob Reckless is afraid. For years he’s stolen across to another world. A dark enchanted place he’s loved for its treasure, secrets and dangers. Until now. Will, his younger brother, has followed him with terrible consequences: The boy will turn to beast; the girl he loves will break her hert and chaos will rule forever, unless Jacob can spin a fairytale to save them…

Stand-alone novels:

Cornelia Funke When Santa Fell to Earth, Igraine the BraveWhen Santa Fell to Earth — (2006) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Scared by a storm, Twinklestar, the least reliable reindeer, bolts — causing Santa and his sleigh to crash-land. And though Santa has dropped into a friendly neighborhood, he’s not safe: Jeremiah Goblynch, the ruthless new leader of the Council of Yuleland, is determind to put an end to children’s wishes and turn the holiday season into his own personal moneymaking scheme. As the last REAL St. Nick around, only Santa stands between Goblynch and his grinchlike plan. With the help and hope of kids Charlotte and Ben, Santa must face Goblynch and his Nutcracker goons to save Christmas!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsGhost Knight  — (2011) Ages 9-12. From international phenomenon Cornelia Funke, the bestselling author of Reckless and Inkheart. Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft never expected to enjoy boarding school. Then again, he never expected to be confronted by a pack of vengeful ghosts, either. And then he meets Ella, a quirky new friend with a taste for adventure… Together, Jon and Ella must work to uncover the secrets of a centuries-old murder while being haunted by terrifying spirits, their bloodless faces set on revenge. So when Jon summons the ghost of the late knight Longspee for his protection, there’s just one question: Can Longspee truly be trusted?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsYoung Werewolf — (2013) Ages 8 and up. Publisher: Fun supernatural tale. Matt is returning home from the cinema when a yellow-eyed monster bites his hand and his whole world – and body – changes. Helped by his best friend Lisa and teacher Mrs Ruskin, they have just two days to find a cure before the curse takes hold forever! Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers of 8+.