I was taught that reading aloud to someone else or being read aloud to is one of the greatest gifts a person can give or receive. In the case of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, it's a gift and a curse.
In Inkheart, there are people who have the ability to make words literally come to life when they read stories aloud. Their words can pull out items, beautiful creatures, and of course, villains. Meggie and Mo, a daughter/father team, work with their knowledge of literature to rid their lives of villains and regain what disappeared into the books they read.
This book is fairly well-written, but relies heavily on prior knowledge of classic classics and modern day classics. Each chapter begins with a quote from one of these classics, my favorite being The Princess Bride, that sets up what's about to unfold. If you're familiar with these tales, then it's a fun little reference, but if not, then they become somewhat of a nuisance. It could be easily skipped over, but the references don't end with the quotes. They are constantly brought up within the story itself. Characters from classics become part of the Inkheart tale and specific classics situations are suggested throughout as options to emulate.
This book is definitely one to pair with one of the classics referenced throughout. If a student enjoyed that book, s/he may enjoy this one as well. But Inkheart isn't for a novice reader; it's definitely geared toward one who, like Meggie, reads into the late hour of the nights and is familiar with all of the references.