Just finished one of those books that I probably should have read a few years ago, but just now got around to - Cornelia Funke's Inkheart. I was surprised that it was on the shelf when I picked it up a week or so ago, what with the movie coming out soon, but I'm glad it was. I'm frequently sceptical of books that have been translated, as this one has been. In case you never noticed the fine print, it was originally written in German. I had read Funke's The Thief Lord a few years ago and was kind of disappointed. This one was much better. It's the story of young Meggie and her father, Mo, a repairer of books. Meggie has been told that her mother "went away" when she was very young but had never been given a real explanation. She also thought it was a little strange that her father, who made his living working with books, and told wonderful, off the cuff stories, never reads aloud to her. A mysterious man named Dustfinger appears one night, they leave abruptly to visit an "aunt." After some bizarre and frightening things begin to happen, Mo finally tells Meggie that when he reads aloud, he sometimes brings characters and objects to life in this world, and things or people disappear from this world into the book. Can you guess what happened to mom? Mo has been trying desperately to bring her back. An evil tyrant who was brought out of a book, wants Mo to read something even more evil out of the book for him, and Dustfinger, who was read out of the same book, blames Mo for his situation, and desperately wants to go back. I thought it was very well written, with enough plot twists to hold your interest. I liked the characters. I'm looking forward to the movie version. I just may pick up the sequel. (And if you know me, you know how unusual that is!) Highly recommended, and appropriate for both middle school and high school (for a nice light reading break) students.