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The German author Cornelia Funke was born in 1958 in Dorsten, Westphalia. As a child she dreamed of becoming an astronaut – until she discovered the military training involved so she trained to be social worker. During her time as a social worker, Cornelia discovered the kinds of stories that grasped their imaginations. These were the stories she wanted to illustrate – and ultimately to write – the kind that would appeal to bookish children as well as inspiring those children who hadn’t yet had many positive reading experiences. At the age of 35 Cornelia realised her true love of storytelling and became a full-time writer. She has since written over 40 titles ranging from picture books and short novels for young readers
Although she quickly became one of the most popular children’s authors in Germany, Cornelia Funke was hardly known in Britain or the United States – and had it not been for a keen young reader, this could still be the case. Barry Cunningham, the publisher of a small, innovative publishing house in rural England called The Chicken House, received a letter from a bilingual (English and German) young reader, who wanted to know why her favourite author wasn’t published in English. Barry set about the task of tracking down the latest title from Cornelia Funke, Herr der Diebe.
When the English translation, The Thief Lord, was published in the USA by Scholastic in 2002, it entered the New York Times bestseller list straightaway, and proceeded to climb to the number two position.
There has been enormous interest in Cornelia’s novels, with fierce bidding by film company executives for the rights. The Thief Lord movie, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Alexei Sayle, was released in Spring 2006.
Inkheart the movie is released on 12th December 2008, has a stellar cast that includes Helen Mirren as Elinor, Jim Broadbent as Fenoglio and Paul Bettany as Dustfinger.
Cornelia Funke lives in Los Angeles in the USA with her teenage daughter, Anna, and young son, Ben (Benjy). They have a crazy dog, Luna, nicknamed Loonie, and their house is crammed with books and DVDs.
December 2016 NewGen Book of the Month. In a nutshell: mesmerising tale of love and adventure set in a dark fairy tale world | Cornelia Funke has an extraordinarily fertile imagination, which is fed and inspired by the old fairy tales and in this the third episode of the Reckless series, she draws on stories from Eastern Europe in another distinctive, thrilling and complex novel. Once again, she sends her hero Jacob Reckless and his brother through the magical mirror into another world. The book opens with a bloody labour and the birth of a baby, a scene her original editors felt would upset readers, causing Funke to find a new way to publish. The scene however sets the tone for the book, which examines love, its power as much a threat to protagonists as a strength. As ever, she weaves together the different plotlines brilliantly, maintaining character development and sustaining the excitement to keep readers breathlessly turning the pages. It’s recommended that readers start with books one and two, The Petrified Flesh and Living Shadows. They will also enjoy Francesca Simon’s The Monstrous Child or Margo Lanagan’s The Brides of Rollrock Island. ~ Andrea Reece
Best-selling Cornelia Funke has an exceptional gift for creating gloriously gothic otherworlds in which the unusual and seemingly impossible can – and does- happen. Part two of the Mirrrorworld series, Living Shadows, follows The Petrified Flesh and catches up with Jacob who desperately seeks a cure to overcome the curse imposed on him by the fairies. Jacob’s cure is such a dark magic that it must be deeply hidden; the search for it takes him where no one should tread. That would be dangerous enough but, worse still, someone else is desperate for the cure too. Luckily, Fox, a shape shifting girl is willing to help in the quest. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Best-selling author Cornelia Funke, whose Inkheart was a world-wide phenomenon, has created a wonderful imaginary world peopled with a gigantic cast of original and outlandish characters. Searching for his missing father, Jacob Reckless steps through the mirror into a strange, story-filled world in which danger is never very far away. When Jacob mistakenly allows his brother to follow him through the mirror he discovers the awesome powers he is working against and needs to use all his skill and cunning to save his brother from a horrible death as he is gradually turned to stone. Cornelia Funke’s original storytelling captures the hearts and minds of all young readers. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Best-selling author Cornelia Funke whose Inkheart was a world-wide phenomenon has created a wonderful new imaginary world peopled with a gigantic cast of original and outlandish characters. Searching for his missing father, Jacob Reckless steps through the mirror into a strange, story-filled world in which danger is never very far away. When Jacob mistakenly allows his brother to follow him through the mirror he discovers the awesome powers he is working against and needs to use all his skill and cunning to save his brother from a horrible death as he is gradually turned to stone. Cornelia Funke’s original storytelling captures the hearts and minds of all young readers.
Impeccably written, this is a real treasure trove of imagination, nail-biting drama and characters so cleverly drawn that you feel you know every one of them personally. Inkworld is a marvellous place of magical realism, full of adventure, passion and excitement and you’ll feel utterly compelled to read this one and its sequels Inkspell and Inkdeath. Inkheart the movie, released on 12th December 2008, stars among others Helen Mirren, Eliza Bennett and Jim Broadbent and has been made by the makers of The Lord of the Rings and The Golden Compass. Click here to see the trailer..
A dragon. A boy. A journey. Firedrake, a brave young dragon, his loyal brownie friend Sorrel and a lonely boy called Ben are united as if by destiny. Together, they embark on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace for ever. With only a curious map and the whispered memories of an old dragon to guide them, they fly across moonlit lands and seas to reach the highest mountains in the world. Along the way, they discover extraordinary new friends in unlikely places and a courage they never knew they had. Just as well, for the greatest enemy of all is never far behind them - a heartless monster from the past who's been waiting a very long time to destroy the last dragons on earth.
Meggie loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder, although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared. They live quietly until the night a stranger knocks at their door. He has come with a warning that forces Mo to reveal an extraordinary secret - a storytelling secret that will change their lives for ever.
Winter has come early to Venice. Two orphaned children are on the run, hiding among the crumbling canals and misty alleyways of the city. Befriended by a gang of street children and their mysterious leader, the Thief Lord, they shelter in an old, disused cinema. On their trail is a bungling detective, obsessed with disguises and the health of his pet tortoises. But a greater threat to the boys' new-found freedom is something from a forgotten past - a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.