Notice: All forms on this website are temporarily down for maintenance. You will not be able to complete a form to request information or a resource. We apologize for any inconvenience and will reactivate the forms as soon as possible.

How to Eat a Book

How to Eat a Book cover


Readability Age Range



Year Published

Book Review

Young cousins Sheila, Gerald and Geraldine find themselves gobbled up by the books they begin reading. And the only way out is to read (and eat) as fast as they can.

Plot Summary

It began with Sheila. She sat down to devoured her first book and it slurped her instead. Then Shila’s cousin Gerald found himself gobbled, too. Lastly Gerald’s rather terrible twin sister, Geraldine, followed suit.

None of the cousins flew off to the same world after being eaten. But their particular booky world fit each of them to a T. (In fact, Geraldine’s book world involved a T. rex. And to tell you the truth, that big dino found her rather scary.)

For all of the questions that the books raised, though, and all of the adventures the book unfurled, there was one absolute truth: If the cousins were going to find a way out, they’d have to figure out how to eat as well as be eaten.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

The major belief in this tale is that reading a good book can be an extremely consuming pursuit. You just have to find the right book for you.

Authority Roles

All of the kids are at their grandmother’s house. But they lose track of her and her world as they spiral into a literary “world of worlds.” And eventually they all find worlds that seem to be exactly where they belong: Sheila amidst a tale filled with wonderful questions, Gerald swept up in mystery and Geraldine in an untamed world.

Profanity & Violence

No language or drugs. But you might say there is a teeny-tiny dash of peril. (Especially when Geraldine begins roaring.) The kids also begin devouring words and leaving only scraps behind.

Sexual Content


Discussion Topics

What is your favorite thing about a great story? Can you find yourself caught up in a story someone tells you? But is there something special about a book that spoken stories sometimes don’t have?

What’s your favorite kind of story or book? What do you think this book means when it talks about eating and being eaten by a book? Have you ever been eaten by a book? Which of the three cousins are you most like?

There’s no mention of God in this book. But is there something about hearing God’s and Jesus’ story that makes them feel more a part of your daily life?

Get free discussion questions for books at

Additional Comments

This kid’s book uses a combination of bright colors, ink drawings and cut-out art to give its pages an appealing splash. That presentation and this book’s light character-driven humor helps bring the joy of reading and imagination to life for young readers.

You can request a review of a title you can’t find at [email protected].

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not necessarily their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Review by Bob Hoose