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Cornelia Funke

Page history last edited by Marilyn McDonald 9 years, 11 months ago

Cornelia Funke - "Magical Realism" 

Book List:



The Inkworld Trilogy



  • Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost (2006)

  • Ghosthunters and the Gruesome Invincible Lightning Ghost (2006)

  • Ghosthunters And the Totally Moldy Baroness! (2007)

  • Ghosthunters And The Muddy Monster Of Doom! (2007))


Die Wilden Hühner / Wild Chicks (soon to be published in English!)

  • Die Wilden Hühner, 1993

  • Die Wilden Hühner auf Klassenfahrt, 1995

  • Die Wilden Hühner - Fuchsalarm, 1998

  • Die Wilden Hühner und das Glück der Erde, 2000

  • Die Wilden Hühner und die Liebe, 2003

  • Die Wilden Hühner - gestohlene Geheimnisse (CD-ROM), 2004

  • Die Wilden Hühner und das Leben, 2007


Picture books

  • The Princess Knight (2003)

  • Pirate Girl (2005)

  • The Wildest Brother (2006)

  • Princess Pigsty (2007) 

 Dragon Rider.jpg 

In this story, Firedrake tells you what it means to be a real silver dragon. Firedrake and Sorrel had been gallivanting across Hamburg. You'll meet Firedrake and Ben and Sorrel, Gilbert Graytail and all the others in person. Test your knowledge of dragons and send Professor Greenbloom your research questions. Tell us about your very own dragon journey - have you ever seen the Rim of Heaven? Or maybe you would like to give away your world-beating recipe for scales-polish.
Anyway, fasten your heat shield and come on in!


Do you dream about adventures? Would you love to be the greatest magician between the Whispering Woods and the Giants' Hills? Or would you rather be a knight with sword and chain mail? What is best to defend a castle: spell or lance? Step in and ask the Books of Magic. They have a lot to say. Maybe they can even tell you how it feels to be a pig, where you can find giant's hairs these days and castles guarded by roaring stone lions and laughing gargoyles.
Spiky Knights, Sorrowful Knights and the Arthurian legend …
we will serve you more than dry biscuits and blue eggs, that's for sure!

Maryland Black-Eyed Susan 2010 - 2011 Nominee

 Inkheart Cover artInkspell Cover artInkdeath Cover art

The Ink-Trilogy

     In Inkheart, the twelve-year-old, Meggie, discovers that her father Mortimer, a professional bookbinder, has the unusual ability to transfer characters from books into the real world when he reads aloud. Scared by his own talents, Mo once brought four characters of a book entitled Inkheart to life while reading from the novel.  His wife Teresa, who disappeared without a trace into the so-called Inkworld of the book. After many years Dustfinger returns to pay Meggie and her father a visit, advising them to flee the country to escape Capricorn and his followers who are in search of Mo and his Inkheart copy. The three of them eventually leave to hide at Meggie's great-aunt Elinor's house in Northern Italy but end up being dragged off by Basta and his companions to the near village of Capricorn.  Soon Meggie discovers she has the same talent as her father, with the help of Inkheart author Fenoglio, her re-read mother, and 1001 Arabian Nights character Farid.

Brendan Fraser Interview for Inkheart (The role of Mo in "Inkheart" is written specifically by author Cornelia Funke with Brendan Fraser in mind.)


The Ghosthunter Trilogy

 Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost! Cover artFrom Cornelia, "The Ghosthunters series was created for children who don’t really like books and definitely don’t want them to be as fat as the Inkbooks. Luckily the book-eaters (like myself) love them as well."

Ghosthunter Friedrich Hechelmann's illustrations of Cornelia's new book GEISTERRITTER: the water colour paintings of the German painter and illustrator are currently being shown at Isny Castle Art Gallery. All 22 originals are hanging along a hallway on the second floor, and next to each of them is a little label refers to the text passage that inspired the artist to paint that Hechelmann's illustrations of Cornelia's text.


In September 2011, Cornelia and German painter and illustrator Friedrich Hechelmann opened the exhibition of the original illustrations of Cornelia’s new book ‘Geisterritter’ (Ghostknight)

The Thief Lord




 Cornelia about "The Thief Lord":

"There are many stories about children who don't want to grow up, famous stories like 'Peter Pan' or 'Pippi Longstocking'. But is there one about children who want nothing more but to grow up? Children who can't wait to be allowed to do all the things only adults can do? I was such a child. I desperately wanted to be an adult (and I still find it quite exciting today). So one day I had the idea of writing a story about a boy who has the same dream and who even pretends to be an adult. Where I got this idea? In Venice, of course. Where else? And so the story is set in this wonderful and mysterious town. Venice is an enchanted place, but it is also very real. It's nothing like Hogwarts or Middle Earth, because you too can travel to Venice. You can touch it, smell it, and taste it. I wanted children to know that such a place really exists in this world and that the real world can be just as enchanting as our beloved fantasy worlds. I often get letters from children who have travelled to Venice and who have taken the story of Scipio, Bo, Prosper, Hornet, Mosca, and Riccio with them."

When Santa Fell to Earth

When Santa Fell to Earth Cover artSniff the cool winter air. It smells of gingerbread, hot chocolate and incense here. See advent calendars come alive and follow us into the world on the other side. Find baldheaded angels, cussing Christmas elves and marzipan-addicted reindeers. Polar glow-worms make grey cities glitter and you will learn how to swear in Elfish. Booger-burps and reindeer poo!
But there is also a dark side, with Christmas robbers, murderers of elves and felonious nutcrackers.
Children are the best cure for Santa-sadness and Santas are good for sad children. So if you are sad right now, come in and do sit down in Niklas' caravan. His angels listen to the children's dreams and collect their wishes: what wishes would they find in your dreams? Maybe you'd like to see the curtain being drawn open in the legendary Augsburger Puppenkiste and witness the dangly-legged wood heads saving Christmas? Get your boots on and follow us to Yule Land.


Further Reading: Reckless Trailer




  • Cornelia Funke was born in 1958 in the town of Dorsten in Westphalia, Germany.
  • Funke married printer Rolf Funke in 1981. Their daughter, Anna, was born in 1989 and their son, Ben, in 1994.  In March 2006, Rolf Funke died of cancer.[
  • The Funke family lived in Hamburg for 24 years,until they moved to Los Angeles in May 2005.
  • As a child, she wanted to become an astronaut and/or a pilot, but then decided to study pedagogy at the University of Hamburg.
  • After finishing her studies, Funke worked for three years as a social worker. During her social work she focused on working with children who came from deprived backgrounds.
  • She had a stint illustrating books, but soon began writing her own stories.  She was inspired by the sorts of stories that had appealed to the deprived children she had worked with.
  • During the late 1980s and the 1990s, Funke established herself in Germany with two children's series, namely the fantasy-oriented Gespensterjäger (Ghosthunters) and the Wilde Hühner (Wild Chicks) line of books. 
  • Funke has been called "the J. K. Rowling" of Germany; although she was highly successful in Germany, the first of her books to be translated into English was Herr der Diebe in 2002.  It was subsequently released as The Thief Lord by Scholastic and made it to the number 2 spot on The New York Times Best Seller list.
  • The fantasy novel Dragon Rider (2004) stayed on the New York Times Best Seller list for 78 weeks.
  • Following the success of The Thief Lord and Dragon Rider, her next novel was Inkheart (2003), which won the 2004 BookSense Book of the Year Children's Literature award.
  • Inkheart was the first part of a trilogy which was continued with Inkspell (2005), which won Funke her second BookSense Book of the Year Children's Literature award (2006).  The trilogy was concluded in Inkdeath (published in Germany in 2007, English version Spring 2008, American version Fall 2008).


  • 1998 Kalbacher Klapperschlange for Drachenreiter (Dragon Rider)
  • 2000 Wildweibchenpreis for her collected works
  • 2000 La vache qui lit for Herr der Diebe (The Thief Lord)
  • 2001 Kalbacher Klapperschlange for Herr der Diebe
  • 2001 Preis der Jury der jungen Leser for Herr der Diebe
  • 2002 Evangelischer Buchpreis for Herr der Diebe
  • 2003 Corine for Herr der Diebe
  • 2003 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for Herr der Diebe
  • 2003 Nordstemmer Zuckerrübe for Kleiner Werwolf
  • 2004 Preis der Jury der jungen Leser for Tintenherz (Inkheart)
  • 2004 Phantastik-Preis der Stadt Wetzlar for Tintenherz
  • 2004 Kalbacher Klapperschlange for Tintenherz
  • 2004 Book Sense Children's Literature Award (Children's Literature Honor Books) for Inkheart
  • 2006 Book Sense Book of the Year Children's Literature Winner for Inkspell
  • 2008 Roswitha Prize
  • Cornelia Funke was voted into the Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2005. 
  • In 2006, Funke was awarded the Sakura Medal by the International Students of Japan in the Chapter Book category for her successful book, Dragon Rider.


  • Cornelia Funke's Fan Page (managed by her sister)http://www.corneliafunkefans.com/en

  • Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelia_Funke

  • Magical Realism "One example of magic realism is when a character in the story continues to be alive beyond the normal length of life and this is subtly depicted by the character being present throughout many generations. On the surface the story has no clear magical attributes and everything is conveyed in a real setting, but such a character breaks the rules of our real world. The author may give precise details of the real world such as the date of birth of a reference character and the army recruitment age, but such facts help to define an age for the fantastic character of the story that would turn out to be an abnormal occurrence like someone living for two hundred years. "



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