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The Girl of Ink and Stars

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  5,819 ratings  ·  930 reviews
Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017, and the British Book Awards' Children's Book of Year 2017

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella Riosse dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped.

When her closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with el
...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Chicken House
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Vanesa Závodská
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Cleo z KvětinkovéDny I think this book is simply appropriate for any age! :D I was 21 when I read it for the first time and I loved it. And I am pretty sure kids would…moreI think this book is simply appropriate for any age! :D I was 21 when I read it for the first time and I loved it. And I am pretty sure kids would love it even more, and some adults might like it as well!(less)

Community Reviews

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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,819 ratings  ·  930 reviews


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Hannah Greendale
Thirteen-year-old Isabella Riosse, daughter of a cartographer, lives on the island of Joya. The songbirds of Joya were supplanted by ravens when the Governor arrived. Under his strict rule, residents of the coastal town of Gromera are forbidden to travel beyond the forest flanking the village. When a string of unsettling events make it necessary to journey beyond the forest in search of answers, Isabella joins a team of explorers on an adventure that will test her map-making skills and her coura ...more
enqi ☁️✨ kell maresh lovesite
They say the day the Governor arrived, the ravens did too. All the smaller birds flew backwards into the sea, and that is why there are no songbirds on Joya. Only huge, ragged ravens.


the girl of ink and stars was mulan, hercules and moana all rolled into one. it was a haunting, captivating tale - one that left tingles up my spine long after i'd finished reading.

forbidden to leave her island, isabella riosse has always dreamed of the faraway lands her father once mapped. when her best fr
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Leonie
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
'Any man can draw where he's been - Only a cartographer knows how to draw it to fit with where he's about to be'

If you like the following things, you will probably enjoy The Girl Of Ink And Stars:
- Alice in wonderland
- Ghibli movies
- Parallel Worlds/alternate versions of our world
- Mystical islands
- Explorations
- Stories within stories
- Stars
- Maps
- Monsters
- Fairytale-esque writing

I love ALL the things on that list
Maddie
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mulan, Hercules, and Moana all rolled into one! It was so fantastic and beautifully written with lots of folklore that I need as a separate book. Adventurous middle grade is the best.
Spencer Orey
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate (GirlReading)
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
There aren't many things better than reading a book that is just as gorgeous as its cover and thankfully The Girl of Ink and Stars was just that. It reminded me of Nim's Island meets Journey to the Centre of the Earth meets Disney (and yes, this would make a fantastic movie. Someone make this happen please and thank you.) It was action packed from start to finish, with twists and turns throughout. I throughly enjoyed the relationships, both family and friendship and the mythological element was ...more
beth ✨
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Rating - 2.5 stars.

First of all, I would just like to take a moment to talk about the cover. It is absolutely beautiful and the main reason I wanted to pick this book up.

I'm going to do lists for what i liked and didn't like.

Things I liked:

- the cover yes yes YES once again
- the writing
- family relationships/friendships
- very easy to read

Things I didn't like:

- there was zero world building like i was so confused???
- the characters are all so boring and have no personality what so ever and
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Lucy Banks
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Giovanna
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5



So cute. (Also, gr keeps doing strange stuff to my photos UGH)

I'll keep it short for now, I'll probably add some more thoughts later.

> This story had much more potential. When I read the blurb I actually envisioned this as an upper-ya magical realism book. It was probably wrong of me to imagine it the way I wanted to, because when I started reading and got that this was middle grade fantasy I was let down. Truth is this isn't even an extremely good middle grade. If you want an original, d
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Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
I am part of a YA book group, this was October's pick of the month but have only just got around to finishing it yesterday. Going into The Girl Of Ink and Stars, I wasn't really sure what to expect other than adventure and um... Stars. Me being me, I thought this was a book set in space, it isn't. I would definitely say however that the plotline sounded more MG to me then YA but I like reading MG and as a nineteen year old, I have loved reading stories for a younger audience. The story follows y ...more
Natali (livebreaththeread)
Each of us carries the map of our lives on our skin, in the way we walk, even in the way we grow.

There are not a lot of better things to get in a book when the cover is as beautiful as the story but this was just that. I really loved this because it was just purely about magic, friendship, adventure and bravery.

I was really happy when Isabella wasn't one of those special snowflake characters who find out she has magical powers. She was a normal human that had a magical way with maps. It wasn't
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Kelly
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Girl of Ink and Stars is one of those rare treasures that is as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the outside. After initially eyeing this up as a cover buy and then hearing nothing but incredible things about this book I finally jumped straight in and I loved every second.

This book is absolutely gorgeous from beginning to end. Set in a beautifully imagined parallel world, The Girl of Ink and Stars is Isa’s tale. She is such a strong and fierce character and I’m sure that she will be an ins
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Abbie | ab_reads
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars - sometimes it’s nice to see what is being put out there as children’s literature these days, and I wasn’t let down here! This is a beautifully written little story of myths and bravery, that I would have loved as a kid! And still did enjoy as a 23 year old ☺ ...more
Elli (The Bibliophile)
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book and wish I had read it as a child! It was so fun and imaginative and emotional but not emotionally manipulative. Highly recommended for readers of all ages who love a good adventure story.
Mayim de Vries
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
A very decent middle-grade fantasy about friendship, courage and the importance of finding your way.
T.D. Whittle
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
I have three young nieces who love reading and being read to, so they get quite a lot of books from my husband and me. But I like to read them first and, if they are suitable, buy fresh copies for the children. The nieces enjoy stories about spunky and capable girls with bright minds and big dreams, and this one seemed to tick all the boxes.

So I began this book a few weeks ago but then got distracted with other things I was reading. I picked it up again two days ago and found that I could not r
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Mathew
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's important to state that this is a wonderful book for both boys and girls. Some may think that a book with the silhouette of a girl of the front cover could be calling to a certain audience but there are plenty of boys on front covers and girls pick 'em up: and the same should and could be said here.

Something strange has happened the world which Isabella inhabits. It is a place full of dark secrets and a past shrouded with myths flavoured with the essence of truth. One myth, the story of Ar
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Fleur (FranklyBooks)
Blog post titled 'You Are Too Young for The Girl of Ink and Stars' to come! Look out for it in the next month or so.

The art of buying books has become a hesitant action of mine while I wait for the $50 all-you-can-into-a-box book buffet that’s about to arrive. It’s a once in a year thing for my entire country, and so I don’t want to be wasting my money on just any old book. So I cajoled my mum into buying this for me, secondhand mind you, instead. Thanks mum!

However, despite the somewhat negati
...more
sassafrass
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Okay to start this book is BEAUTIFUL. The cover is gorgeous and the pages on the inside are all decorated with illustrations of maps and ships. I loved all the characters and the setting, which is quite reminiscent of Philip Pullman's alternate earth, and the plot whilst fairly standard out of context flows naturally and actually comes to a bittersweet and moving ending that I genuinely didn't see coming from a children's book.

None of the characters are white in this, instead all are either mix
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Nouf Baw
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Beautifully written
Jen W
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was just a book that was sitting on my bookshelf that I decided to use as a filler while I wait for my new one. After finishing it, it's going to be a permanent addition to my shelf. It's such a beautiful story of friendship, adventure, sacrifice and bravery, and I loved it a lot more than I thought I would. I will admit that it seems to be targeted at a younger audience, and it takes a little while for the action to really kick in, but neither of these things took away from the story. I ev ...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
I picked up The Girl of Ink and Stars after it won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. I don't normally read middle grade fantasy, but The Girl of Ink and Stars is an enchanting, magical adventure and is stunningly written (plus the book itself is pretty, too!).

The Girl of Ink & Stars follows Isabelle Riosse – a cartographer's daughter – as she goes on a treacherous journey to rescue her best friend, Lupe. Lupe has disappeared into the island's Forgotten Territories and because of her fat
...more
Emma
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review by Cerys - Year 8

The Girl of Ink and Stars is a beautiful story of Isabella, the cartographer’s daughter, and her journey when her best friend, Lupe goes missing outside the city’s walls, which residents of the city are never allowed to leave, but on her journey through the depths of Joya, (the island) will she discover that her destiny is at hand. Mysteries and legends intertwine in this breath-taking, beautiful read, of friendship, myths and magic.

My favourite character is Isabella, for
...more
Joan
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Chicken House UK for the copy.

Everything about this book is beautiful: the cover, the title, the prose, the world it speaks of, and the brave characters featured in it. It tells a thoughtful tale of friendship and loyalty, of love and family, and of courageous dreams. The Girl of Ink and Stars is one of the few middle-grade fantasies that I think adults will enjoy. It has that timeless quality into it that fairy tales hav
...more
Alexa
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I'm really happy that I finally had the chance to read THE GIRL OF INK AND STARS. Instantly engaging, and written almost as if it were a myth passed down through the ages, I really enjoyed Isabella's tale.
Jennifer
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This would definitely be a 4 or 5 star book for a middle grade reader. This takes place on an island called Joya that's under the tyrannical rule of a foreigner called the Governor. A girl named Isabella is the daughter of the island's main cartographer, and she's also best friends with the Governor's daughter, Lupe. But then Lupe runs away to the island's forbidden woods, and both girls discover that a fiery, mythical creature is stirring from the depths of the island.
This is action-packed with
...more
nad
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
well first of all I met the author at her book launch about two weeks ago and she's such a nice and genuine person! second THIS is one of the most beautiful looking books I own cause not just the cover but also the inside pages are illustrated. okay now on to the content. I had several issues with it including being really confused about a couple of things. it felt like I constantly missed certain information and there was a lack of world building that added to my irritation. the characters were ...more
Catherine Doyle
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning. Magical, vivid, lyrical and touching.
Janani(ஜனனி)
I was supposed to have an adventure. I was expected to wander the island, read myths but all I did was yawn and was at the verge of breaking my head to control my sleep. This is so boring that I need to throw the book into the deep ocean of Tifiti. Of course, I didn’t. One, I can’t go there now. Two, I don’t want to throw.

A twelve-year-old daughter of a cartographer, who knows how to read stars and put that into a map with ink. She could remember the places she has gone and memorize it and could
...more
Daniel Biswas
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting read that includes captivating characters and story lines that adds a Hispanic twist to the traditional fairytale. Hargrave creates an exotic and intriguing world that manages to still be believable. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the hero of the story isn't a sword-wielding boy but in-fact an intelligent, map drawing girl. This means the book would be useful to use in school to show children that girls can be heroes too. The easy to read nature of the book means that it wou ...more
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Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an award winning poet, playwright, and author.

Her books include the bestselling winner of the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017 The Girl of Ink & Stars, and Costa Book Awards- and Blue Peter Awards-shortlisted The Island at the End of Everything, and The Way Past Winter is forthcoming in October 2018. He
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“Each of us carries the map of our lives on our skin, in the way we walk, even in the way we grow.” 26 likes
“India is a place where colour is doubly bright. Pinks that scald your eyes, blues you could drown in.” 4 likes
More quotes…