Wow. What a simple, elegant concept. This book is beautiful. The language is beautiful, the characters are fascinating, and I was pulled along through every part of the novel. I've read other books by Cornelia Funke, and they are great, but this is by far my favorite. Students love it to, as evidenced by the fact that one of my students insisted this be the "Book of the Week" for this week!
It breaks my heart to think that there are middle grade students out there who may not have read this book! Yes, it's a movie. But do yourself a huge favor and read the book!
While you are at it (or once you are a huge fan of Funke's work) visit her website for more about her and the worlds she has created!