First published as a juvenile, in German, four years ago: an inventive, meaningful, incident-packed fantasy featuring a boy who falls into a book-within-a-book. Fat, despised schoolboy Bastian Balthazar Bux steals this special book. And, afraid to return home, he hides in the school attic--reading about the magical land of Fantasiana, home to all manner of strange and intriguing creatures. Fantasiana, alas, is being eaten away by expanding blobs of Nothing; the childlike Empress, herself ill, gives her talisman, AURYN, to a young, purple-buffalo-hunting Greenskin, Atreyu; his quest is to find a cure for the Empress' and the land's afflictions. But, after various charming adventures, Atreyu learns that only a human from the real world can save Fantasiana--by giving the Empress a new name (something no Fantasianian is capable of). And, at this point, schoolboy Bastian realizes that it's him they're talking about! He even has a new name ready, but can't pluck up the courage to speak it aloud--until he realizes that the story so far will just endlessly repeat itself unless he does. Eventually, then, the Empress and Fantasiana are healed; Bastian finds himself in Fantasiana, in possession of AURYN, a talisman that grants his every wish; but every time a wish comes true, he loses some of his real-world memories. . . so he fails into folly and evil before undergoing a spiritual rebirth and finally returning home. An appealing, delicately wrought, engrossing adventure--for children of all ages.