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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  483 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Ethan’s dad is a comic artist whose greatest creation, the mutant superhero Kren, brought him fame and glory. But after his dad’s string of successful books, a tragedy strikes the family and now his dad is completely stuck.

If only artistic talent were hereditary. Ethan is stuck on a graphic-novel project of his own at school and won’t own up to the fact that he can’t draw.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by HarperCollins Canada
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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  483 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
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 sen
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
"It's no easy thing, creating a story." (p.128)
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
"No one was awake to see it happen..."

Ethan was in a big trouble. He'd been chosen to draw for his group's comic book project. While his dad was a known and talented comic book artist, Peter Rylance, Ethan couldn't draw a stick figure to save a life. One night, an ink blot magically and mysteriously appeared, born from his dad's drawings in a sketchbook. Inkling, he named it. His appearance had given Ethan an opportunity to finish his drawings for the comic book project, as his dad had been "stu
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
Inkling is a middle-grade novel with a ton of heart and imagination! It centers around a young boy named Ethan, his family, and a little ink blob that changes their life. It’s an engaging and fun story that tackles some heavy themes without ever becoming too overwhelming.

Inkling is a little ink-blot that comes to life in the middle of the night and finds himself at the center of a family as it struggles to heal and move forward. Ethan is stuck working on a graphic novel for school, but he can’t
Moral conundrums rarely appear in middle grade novels. Or really any novels. It's much easier to write good and bad guys who only do good or bad things respectively and leave it at that. But I love complexity and ambiguity and myriad greys. So this is my jam. There's a blob of ink spontaneously turning into a sentient being once it escapes from the sketch book of a graphic novelist. Like every fictional new sentience it soaks up English and USian culture pretty quickly and without wasting too mu ...more
Laura Thomas
Books that encourage me to use my imagination, to stretch it, are always a delight. And Inkling was quite a stretch. Imagine an inkblot coming to life. All the things it could become.

Ethan Rylance got himself in a big pickle. He volunteered to do the illustrations for his school’s project. What was he thinking? He can’t draw. Mr. Rylance is in a bigger pickle. It’s been two years since his last graphic novel and he’s got writer’s block in a big way. One night, while everyone is sleeping, the ink
Stephanie - Adventures Thru Wonderland
*I received an ARC from the publisher for the official blog tour. This does not affect my review.*

I read this, and at first I wans't sure what to think. The idea sounded interesting, though the author was new to me, and I hadn't heard much about him or this book. Now I'll admit, I kind of wish I had read the print copy instead since I seem to have missed out on the illustrations, since I ended up reading the digital ARC instead (O.O) I'll have to fix that soon, hopefully. Anyway, I ended up lovi
Clare Lund
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
What started as a fun, quirky read had me in tears by the end. Inkling shows up in Ethan’s life after his mom dies and his dad is struggling with survivor’s guilt and writer’s block. Funny and sweet story with a beautifully heartfelt ending. Ages 9 and up.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, audiobooks, children
This was a fun, quirky story and our whole family loved listening to this one.
Jenna (Falling Letters)
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review originally published 27 October 2018 at Falling Letters.

Oppel has delivered us another middle grade novel (to my delight, as I wasn’t much of a fan of his previous book, Every Hidden Thing [young adult historical fiction]). Inkling offers a compelling story that plays to Oppel’s strengths as a writer.

Inkling himself is a delightful character. My cynicism tensely awaited the moment when Inkling would become the villain, but this does not happen. Although Inkling develops autonomy, he ca
Inkling is a wonderful middle grade novel–imaginative, funny, and full of heart. There are delightful illustrations by Sydney Smith that are perfect at capturing the best moments in the novel, starting with the very first page and the nighttime prowling adventure of Rickman the cat. Ethan and his little sister Sarah are adorable, and written with emotion and sensitivity. Ethan has had to grow up faster than he should have, and he is an amazing big brother to Sarah, who has Down Syndrome. Ethan’s ...more
Ethan is struggling with the artwork for a collaborative graphic novel project he's completing for class. Although he tries hard, he's nowhere near as talented as his father, who is famous for a popular graphic novel series with a superhero. But he gets some unexpected help from an ink blot that slips off his father's sketchbook one night. The little blot becomes friends with Ethan, and he calls him Inkling. To Ethan's dismay, Inkling draws in a similar style to his father, and fixes Ethan's art ...more
Lilly Charysma
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a surprise. Some books come at the right time and I am proof of that. The message this story has is powerful. It’s inspiring, breathtaking and very intense.

Ethan lives in his father’s shadow somehow. His classmates expect him to inherit his dad’s talent at creating amazing characters and drawing them, with this school project. Little do they know the struggle his family has had ever since his mom passed away. Hope emerges in the form of a drop of ink.

Inkling becomes a character tha
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canlit-pub-2018
Ken Oppel does it again with Inkling; a great novel with lots of kid appeal. The illustrations by Sydney Smith bring Inkling to life. The novel deals with hard issues, depression, death of a parent in a way that children can understand. Inkling's love of books is heartwarming to a book nerd like myself although graphic novels seem to have a bad rap (then again, you have to have a bad guy). Ethan is a sweet boy, always trying to do the right thing, who nutures not only Inkling but his little sist ...more
Note: I received an ARC via a book sharing group in exchange for my honest review. (Although the book is now available to purchase.)

Kenneth Oppel has penned another charming, fantastical novel for middle grade students. When an ink splotch begins to act like a living creature, needing food, expressing it's personality, befriending people and so on, life changes for the Rylance family. Ethan needs to make some tough decisions along the way and work at uniting his family instead of dividing it mor
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I managed to get an ARC through my Book Portage ARC group. It's a very interesting story that has a little of everything: humour, action, heart. I loved the characters from the title character to Ethan, to his school nemesis. Even the cat was brilliantly written.

There are so many good parts I could spoil and so many important topics such as dealing with grief, a great sibling relationship, dealing with a bully, and how to improve and get better (not best) at something. All this from what seems
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is hands down one of the best middle grade books I’ve read in a while, hence my devouring it in one sitting. The plot is fun and energetic but the characters are what makes this book incredible. Including Inkling! That little ink blot was a character all his own and he was the cutest. Ethan and his family had such a complex and emotional journey and it was written with such grace. Kenneth Oppel is truly a master at his craft.
Sarah Sammis
My one complaint with Inkling is in the characterization of the the publisher's daughter. She happens to be the same age as Ethan and happens to go to the same school. She even happens to be in the same class. She's also apparently spent her entire short life so far bullying Ethan. She has decided from the get-go that both Ethan and his father can't draw. Now that suddenly he appears to be able to, she has made up her mind to discover the reason for his sudden "skill."

I understand the need for a
Theresa Grissom
A huge thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book!

I absolutely loved Inkling! Such a unique story. From page one, this book had me sucked in. Who knew an ink blot could make such an awesome, lovable character? I cannot wait until this is published and I can share it with students at school. I really think they will love this story. I also think this would make a great read aloud. Students would be begging for "one more chapter"!
Heather Moore
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Audiobook with my 11 year old. She loved and couldn’t get enough of it and it exceeded my (3 star) expectations. An enjoyable story with action, humor, and real life that come together well. And who doesn’t love an adorable, helpful, come-to-life inkblot? However, be warned, the main character’s mother passes away from “sickness” in the hospital before the story happens and the aftermath of her death lingers heavily, especially with the father’s mourning. Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend th ...more
Lorie Barber
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the most original MG novels of 2018. I loved the story, the characters, and the twists and turns. But most of all, I loved the lessons quietly written that will mean something different for every child who reads it. I have so many students in mind with whom I want to share this, and each for different reasons. Inkling is a must for every library: classroom, school, public.
Leanne C
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this newest novel from Kenneth Oppel. It was humorous and heartwarming with characters that you love and characters that you don't love but you "get." I feel like this novel has layers and would open up some great conversations with readers about things like persistence, overcoming difficulties, honesty, and communication, to name but a few. I laughed and cringed and cried....the signs of a good read, for me.
This is a story about friendship between a boy and a drop of ink! Yup, a drop of ink!

It also has deep themes like recovering from a great loss and taking responsibility while going through the stages of grief. .

This was really good!
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this story of Ethan and the live ink blot who befriends him. Ethan's home life is complex without being an Afterschool Special, and he wrestles with ethical dilemmas in an age appropriate way, getting frustrated when his father fails some of the same tests he is set.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-school
This was an uncorrected advance proof that found its way to me from Book Expo.
Very clever idea. Great read. Would recommend.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, read-in-2018

This was really adorable, fun, and bittersweet all at the same time. Kenneth Oppel has done yet another great book with Inkling,
TheReadingCornerforAll Lopez
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first book I ever read by Kenneth Oppel was Airborn. I can still remember how my ten-year-old self was just absolutely taken away by this high sea adventure and was left wishing that I could join Matt and Kate on their adventures.

Over the years I’ve embarked on so many fantastic journeys thanks to Oppel. There isn’t a single one of his works that hasn’t lived up to his great sense of creativity. He is an author who is so well connected to his imagination and even more so, the ability to shar
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished an advanced reader’s copy of this Middle School thriller-fantasy. That may not be an actual genre, but it works for me. For pure entertainment, this book checks all the boxes. A likable hero, an original plot, page turning excitement and best of all, Inkling himself, an inkblot who managed to escape the sketchbook of Ethan’s graphic artist father. The opening chapter in which we meet Inkling and see him grow into so much more than a blob of ink, is absolutely fantastic. Who could ...more
Kary H.
Thanks to #NetGalley for providing an ARC of this amazing middle-grade book. I'm not sure how Kenneth Oppel made me care for an inkblot so deeply, but he did. Because of that, I could not put this book down. A touching story of creativity, family, loss, friendship, and, ultimately, love, that will stay with you long after you finish this book.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Kenneth Oppel's Inkling has been one of my favorite middle grade novels of this year. Like Nest, Inkling brings a level of creativity, voice, and heart to the page that made me go through a wide range of feelings. Mostly though, I was wildly entertained by the cast of characters who are all influenced by the little spot of ink that comes to life and learns to speak and live through the ink in the books it devours.
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I was born in 1967 in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia...At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer (this came after deciding I wanted to be a scientist, and then an architect). I started out writing sci-fi epics (my Star Wars phase) then went on to swords ...more
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