Author: Oppel, Kenneth
From the moment Inkling drags himself free from the pages of a sketchbook, he is on a mission. To teach Ethan how to draw, to help Ethan's artist dad get working again--and to try to fix something inside Ethan's house and heart.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 198303
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 75784
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/18)
School Library Journal (09/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/11/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2018 Mr. Rylance, a famous graphic novelist, is battling a bad case of writer’s block after the death of his wife. Meanwhile, his son, Ethan, is struggling to complete a school graphic-novel project and frustrated with his father’s inability to move on. When an inkblot that can write, listen, learn, and create beautiful pictures pulls himself from Mr. Rylance’s sketchbook, Ethan names him Inkling and thinks the blot could solve their problems. Inkling is a truly engaging character—at turns hilarious, when he mimics the language of the books he reads, and poignant, when he wonders about his identity and purpose. The omniscient narrator adds tension to the story, as several human characters discover the truth about Inkling and fight to use him in nice or nefarious ways. The undercurrent of loss and grief, not to mention questions of agency and personhood, give the story weight but do not weigh it down. Smith’s energetic and expressive ink drawings are the perfect complement and contribute to the storytelling in playful ways. Oppel’s latest is serious fun. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2018 Gr 4–6—Ethan Rylance has the weight of the world on his shoulders. His mother recently passed away, and his once-successful father is struggling with his career as a graphic novel creator. Because his father is grieving and experiencing depression, it falls to a frustrated Ethan to act as caregiver and playmate to his intuitive and empathetic little sister who has Down Syndrome. On top of the strains of his home life, Ethan is struggling with a school assignment. His classmates assume that artistry is in his genes and Ethan, ever eager to save face, agrees to be the illustrator of their group project to create an original graphic novel, even though he has no notion of how to begin drawing and his father is too preoccupied to advise. But when the ink from Mr. Rylance's sketchbook comes to life one night and begins exploring the family home, everything changes. After discovering the shape-shifting splotch of potential creative energy, Ethan christens his helpful new friend Inkling. For a time, Inkling remains secret, but as the buoyant and optimistic creature grows larger and takes on characteristics of what he devours, more and more people in Ethan's circle find out. Inkling is able to reproduce the art and text he has eaten, a trait that the Rylance family thinks will solve all their problems, but instead brings them to a head that father and son must confront together. VERDICT A unique story about the creative process and the journey through grief. Recommended for fiction collections.—Lauren Younger, Nicholson Memorial Library, Garland, TX - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.