I just finished reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. This was my son Thomas' favorite book when he was 9 or 10, and I enjoyed it. It is a fantastic story set in the modern world, and it is essentially about reading and writing. The premise is that great writers can put wonderful and terrible things into books, and great readers can bring them to life. It is the first of a trilogy, but I have not yet attempted the second volume, Inkspell.
I am tempted to try the second volume in German; anyone ever try or know what Funke's German is like?