Author: Cornelia Funke
Presented by Shyam Nagarajan, 4th Grade
Cornelia Funke was born in 1958 to Karl-Heinz and Helmi Funke. She was
born in a town called Dorsten, West Phalia, Germany. Cornelia went to
military school when she was a child. Funke studied pedagogy at the
University of Hamburg. Cornelia married Rolf Funke in 1981 but lost her
husband to cancer in 2006. She has 2 children Anna born in 1989 and Ben
born in 1994.
When she was a social worker, she got hundreds of ideas for books, and
Cornelia wanted to write them all. Cornelia had natural instinct for writing.
Cornelia Funke was inspired by sorts of stories that had appealed to the
deprived children she had worked with.
Her hobbies are reading, listening to music, and being in silence. Cornelia
is a Children book writer and an illustrator. She has illustrated several
pictures for her own books. In fact, she has written several picture books
along with chapter books.
Cornelia Funke writes books with variety of settings and characters.
Settings include mountains, valleys, islands, and modern day Venice. Her
story Characters include princesses, orphans, Santa, weird ghosts, and
fantasy dragons. All of her books have adventure, a touch of fantasy, less
violence, and because of variety the books, it appeals to lot of people. She
also has 3 book series.
Princess Knight is about a princess who is not content to embroider and sew while her brothers ride and
romp. She is also not content to be a prize for the taking, and takes her fate into her own hands with hard
work and perseverance.
Princess Pigsty is a tale about another rebellious princess, but this one is a little more vocal about her
rebellion. Tired of being pampered, Isabella rebels and throws away her tiara. As punishment she is sent
to serve first in the kitchen and then in the pigsty, which she loves. Her father finally relents and lets her
be who she wants to be as long as she returns to the castle, because he misses her. Sweet and spunky, it is
a fun girl-power story.
The Wildest Brother is another sweet tale about a blustering little brother who protects his sister by day
from the hordes or threats he imagines, but by night needs a little of her protection from the things that go
bump in the night. It is a wonderful tale of sibling relationships.
The Ghosthunter series is written for about a third or fourth grade level and is a light-hearted and silly
series of ghost tales. These are not spooky, blood-curdling tales. They are funny and comical—I mean how
scared can you get when there is flip-art in the corner of silly looking ghosts doing somersaults? They are
silly and short and great for reluctant readers.
Igraine the Brave is a fabulous chapter book that is a great read aloud for the six-and-up set and a good
read alone book for about fourth grade and up. This is a good one if you have an advanced reader and
need something age appropriate for a second or third grader. Like most of Funke's heroines, Igraine goes
against the grain and does not want follow in her family's footsteps. She gets a chance to prove herself
AND save the day. It is a fun story for all, and she is a nice role model for girls.
Dragon Rider (2004) is the story of a dragon that must try and find the last sanctuary left for dragons
when their home in Scotland is invaded by development. A cantankerous brownie is his only companion
until he finds an orphaned boy who helps them and gets to go along for the ride. This story is good on so
many levels—the characters are fabulous, the dialogue witty and entertaining, and the adventure is fun
and unique all while being rooted in a contemporary tale. This is not a dark and medieval world.
The Thief Lord (2002) is another fun tale, but this time it is orphaned kids banding together and
surviving in an abandoned theater in Venice. The setting is exotic, the characters are varied and fun, the
story is exciting and just touched with magic. This is another really original tale by Funke and is
appropriate for a third grader and up.
Inkheart (2003) is an incredible series, but may be a bit too violent and dark for most of the 9-12 set,
especially the last two books. It is wonderfully unique—Mo has the power to read characters out of books,
but something from our world vanishes in its place. Unfortunately it is the villain that comes to our world,
and Mo and his daughter Meggie have to try to set things right. It is a wonderfully imaginative story and I
couldn’t wait for the next in the series.
InkSpell (2005) is a sequel to her earlier book Inkheart and the earlier villains get more powerful.
InkDeath (2008) is the concluding volume in Funke's bestselling trilogy picks up where Inkspell left
Reckless (2010) The book is about to be published.
My favorite story is The Thief Lord, because it is action packed, and
entertaining. I really like the setting of Venice. My favorite character from
The Thief Lord is Prosper because he is nice and protects his brother
Boniface. This book also has Marry-go-round as the time machine.
My least favorite book is Igraine the Brave because it is a princess in a
knight suit and I don't like the setting.
Cornelia's favorite book is The Thief Lord because she likes caring for
I really enjoyed the project on Cornelia Funke and I think her
stories are original and I like her books and I hope you do too.