"Astonishing"—The New York Times Book Review
A brilliantly funny, highly illustrated story about how a little ink splot changes a family forever. Perfect for those who love Hoot, Holes, or Frindle!
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.
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.
• A New York Times Notable Book
• A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year -- top ten selection
• "A true-to-life family, some can't-put-it-down excitement, a few deep questions, and more than a little bit of magic. This book is everything, and I loved every page." —Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medalist for When You Reach Me
With none but Rickman the cat awake to see it, a blob of ink wrenches itself free from a sketchbook and begins munching its way through a nearby math textbook, "slurp the ink into itself" and leaving a blank, shiny page in its wake. Ethan, the son of a once-successful graphic novelist, discovers the blotch (and its skillful contribution to his graphic novel assignment) and names it Inkling. As Inkling consumes print media, expanding and learning with each absorbed word and image, Ethan and his family especially his sister, Sarah, who has Down syndrome become more attached to the lovable creature, whose upbeat personality provides a distraction from their grief over the loss of Ethan and Sarah's mother. But keeping Inkling and using it to make art poses ethical questions for Ethan and his father, not to mention for a company looking to turn business around. Gray-scale illustrations by Smith (Town Is by the Sea) ground readers in the medium through which Ethan and Inkling communicate. Inkling's evolving abilities model a realistic creative arc the creature mimics its most recent literary meal ("I'M UTTERLY ENRAPTURED" follows a stint with L.M. Montgomery) until it eventually discovers its own voice even as the other characters work through grief and find their own stories. Ages 8-12.
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