I received this book at no cost from the publisherInkling by Kenneth Oppel, Sydney Smith
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on September 11, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
From the acclaimed author of The Nest, The Boundless, and Airborn comes a brilliantly funny, breakout book about a boy who discovers an ink blot that’s come to life! Perfect for those who love Hoot and Frindle and sure to be a hit with kids everywhere!
The Rylance family is stuck. Dad’s got writer’s block. Ethan promised to illustrate a group project at school–even though he can’t draw. Sarah’s still pining for a puppy. And they all miss Mom. So much more than they can say.
Enter Inkling. Inkling begins life in Mr. Rylance’s sketchbook. But one night the ink of his drawings runs together–and then leaps off the page! This small burst of creativity is about to change everything.
Ethan finds him first. Inkling has absorbed a couple chapters of his math book–not good–and the story he’s supposed to be illustrating for school–also not good. But Inkling’s also started drawing the pictures to go with the story–which is amazing! It’s just the help Ethan was looking for! Inkling helps the rest of the family too–for Sarah he’s a puppy. And for Dad he’s a spark of ideas for a new graphic novel. It’s exactly what they all want.
It’s not until Inkling goes missing that this family has to face the larger questions of what they–and Inkling–truly need.
Kenneth Oppel has given us a small masterpiece of middle-grade fiction. Inkling is funny and fizzy and exciting, and brimming with the kind of interesting ideas and dilemmas that kids will love to wrestle with. And Sydney Smith is creating wonderfully inky illustrations to bring the story to vivid life. Get ready. A little ink blot is about to become your new favorite character!
I was born in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer. I started out writing sci-fi epics then went on to swords and sorcery tales and then, during the summer holiday when I was fourteen, started on a humorous story about a boy addicted to video games. Photo credit: Mark Haynes Roberts
Ethan’s dad illustrated comic books so when a group project at school is to design a graphic novel, he is the perfect choice to do the images. He thinks this should be a slam dunk if he can get help from his dad. Vikra thinks she is a much better artist than Ethan and she might be right. His father hasn’t quite been the same since Ethan’s mother died and when Ethan asks for help, he doesn’t get an answer since his dad is overwhelmed with daily tasks. Even though Ethan helps out with his younger sister, Sarah, who has downs syndrome, he really needs attention himself.
Just when Ethan is losing hope, an ink splotch pops off one of his dad’s drawings and helps him cope humorously, first by ruining a math book (no big loss) and then by helping Sarah by acting like a puppy. When Inkling helps Ethan with his artwork for the novel at school, things become magical and inspires his dad to work again. Of course, this doesn’t always go as intended and when Inkling disappears, panic strikes.
This is my first book by Kenneth Oppel, and now I need to go find his other work. What I really loved about the book as a whole was that Inkling really comes to life on the pages by splattering and splotching his way through. This is a truly heartfelt book that kids and adults are going to love because of the positive message told with humor and sensitivity.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of INKLING, US Only.
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