This is a book that was recently released as a movie. I can’t say anything for the movie, as I have yet to see it, but I can say that the book was very intriguing.
The events take place in a “real world setting” as a twelve-year-old named Meggie, who lost her Mom at a young age, lives with her Father, Mo, who happens to be a skilled bookbinder. They both love and enjoy reading books, however Mo insists on never reading Meggie a story out loud.
A strange man shows up at their house and his presence forces Meggie and Mo to flee their home. They stay with Meggie’s Aunt, Elinor, who is an avid book collector, but not one who is particularly fond of children.
Mo is captured by the men that, all these years he was trying to hide from, and the mysterious guest, Dustfinger, who acted like a friend, ended up being an accomplice to Mo’s abduction. However, Dustfinger comes to help Meggie and Elinor find where Mo was taken and they discover Mo’s hidden secret: when he reads a written story out loud, things, even people, come out of the pages. The only problem is that when something does, one thing from the real world also goes in.
The mystery of the disappearance of Meggie’s mother, Mo’s strange captors and Dustfinger’s motives for aiding the villains are all reviled. Several other mysteries are introduced and the relationships between the characters grow.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It brought a unique touch to the fantasy genre, and did so without any major loopholes. The characters are interesting, particularly Dustfinger, and the story keeps you wanting to read more. See my thoughts on the similarities between this story and A Wrinkle in Time.
Things to consider:
There are some elements that could be considered frightening for younger children, but there are no inappropriate sexual references that I can recall. There are also a few mild curse words, mostly used by Aunt Elinor.
Opportunities for discussion:
This book can give you an excellent opportunity to discuss the consequences of toying with the lives of others for your own personal gain. It can also be a good time to let your kids know that the actions of heartless people only hurt those around them.
Other reviews in this series: