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!

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

Author: Kenneth Oppel

Hardcover, 272 pages

Expected publication: November 6th 2018

Publishing House: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

My Review

Uplifting, heartfelt and very immersive to read.

Inkling is such a great character to stand by his family in the storm of need. We could all use an Inkling every once in a while. 

Ethan is working on a group project for school. Their assignment is to create a graphic novel. Among the students in his group, Ethan is the one picked to make the drawings after the plot has been created. Easy peasy, right?

Since Ethan’s dad is an artist and has produced the amazing ‘Kren’ comic series, it only makes sense that he should have inherited the same artistic tendencies as his father. Vikra however, his classmate and archenemy, thinks differently. She is very artistic and almost knows for sure that she has this in the bag…until Inkling comes along!

Inkling is a color-blob, born from the creations of Ethan’s dad. One night, he simply became. He slowly rolled of one of the sketchbooks in the home office and made his way around the house in the dark.

The group project is going slow…Ethan is overwhelmed and under gifted in his drawing skills. His dad is having a difficult time as of late as well. Creatively, he has hit a blank since the death of his wife. His publisher has been knocking on his door for the past 2 years, waiting for the next big hit. Ethan is trying to help out his dad with his little sister with special needs as much as he can to ease his father’s burden, but the family is hurting and mourning still.

Inkling makes his appearance at the right time of their lives. They have so much to learn from each other and gain from their deeply developing friendship. For a while things start looking back up for them. When Ethan’s drawing skills improve with tutoring lessons from Inkling, the unimaginable happens. Inkling gets kidnapped. The event sends Ethan’s dad into a deep spiral of depression and together as a family they have to make it through a tough time and rescue Inkling.

What are the chances of getting him back? How will they fare? Someone is out to doing some really bad things to Inkling and Ethan is challenged to rescue him.

Fingers crossed…


This book was deeply moving as well as entertaining. A truly sweet and heart rendering story to read as the plot follows the families healing and at the same time the adventures of Inkling. (I actually teared up at some moments...that never happens!)

Inkling is a bookworm and the best of influences on Ethan and his family. His hunger to read and learn is infatuating. There are definitely many lessons to be learned and positive messages to be heard from this novel to give hope and encouragement to students of all walks of life.

I really like Oppel’s writing. This is not the first book of his I have read and in my experience his books simply read well and immersive. I was blown away by his series ‘The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein’ and ever since he is high on my list of 'Want to read authors'.

I highly recommend this lovely book with a great message for children as well as adults.

Enjoy :)

(...and keep a tissue box near by!)

I received a digital copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Thank you!