Scholastic Goes Back to Press on Cornelia Funke’s Latest Novel

Dragon Rider Hits #1 on New York Times and Book Sense Best-Seller Lists

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ — Scholastic announced today that it was going back to press for 100,000 copies of its new breakaway best-seller, Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, bringing the total to 250,000 copies in print. Scholastic released Dragon Rider in mid-August with an initial print run of 150,000 copies. In less than a month the book hit #1 on The New York Times best-seller list as well as the Book Sense best-seller list. In the two short years since Funke’s debut in America, there are currently 2,000,000 copies of her books in print in the U.S. and Canada.

Scholastic is supporting Dragon Rider with a $150,000 marketing campaign including distributing thousands of advanced reading copies, a national print and radio advertising campaign and a national publicity campaign. Cornelia Funke will be touring to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles in October, as well as to Boston where she will be a speaker at the New England Booksellers Association regional convention and Detroit where she will speak at the Great Lakes Booksellers Association regional convention. Funke will also be doing a live web chat on October 5 at 1 p.m. EDT. at

A best-selling author in Germany, Cornelia Funke made her American debut in the fall of 2002 with The Thief Lord and became one of the most successful first-time children’s authors in the United States. The book was a New York Times best-seller for 25 weeks and winner of the 2003 Book Sense Book of the Year Award. According to USA Today, ” … this exquisitely told tale of adventure and intrigue set in contemporary Venice can be read, or more accurately devoured, by teenagers and adults.”

In 2003, Funke followed up with another best-seller, Inkheart. The first title in Funke’s Inkheart trilogy was on The New York Times best-seller list for 21 weeks. The novel was also a Publishers Weekly and Book Sense best- seller and was a finalist for the 2004 Book Sense Book of the Year Award. The thrilling adventure about a young girl, Meggie, whose father can make fictional characters come to life by reading a book out loud, was hailed in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: “Funke once again proves the power of her imagination; readers will be captivated by the thrilling world she has created here.”

Cornelia Funke recently announced a deal with New Line Cinema who will develop her Inkheart trilogy as a potential kid’s fantasy franchise. In a Variety article, New Line executive Vice President Mark Ordesky said, “It’s the perfect segue from ‘Lord of the Rings’ to ‘Inkheart.’ Apart from Cornelia’s huge status within Europe, her international popularity is only just beginning to crest.”

Dragon Rider tells the story of Firedrake and Sorrell, two dragons whose peaceful valley is threatened with danger. Together they set off to find the mythical Rim of Heaven – the only place in the world where dragons can be safe forever. Along the way they meet an orphaned boy named Ben who volunteers to be their navigator and quickly becomes their friend. With an evil dragon hunter on their trail, their quest turns into a battle for survival. A true adventure, Dragon Rider is an exciting, heartwarming, and ultimately triumphant tale about the power of belief and the true meaning of home.

Cornelia Funke is published in America by Scholastic in partnership with The Chicken House-founded in the United Kingdom by Barry Cunningham, the original publisher of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Mr. Cunningham first learned of Cornelia Funke through a letter he received from an eleven- year-old girl wanting to know why her favorite children’s writer wasn’t published in English.

Scholastic Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children’s books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct- to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries, and television networks; and the Company’s Internet Site,