No catches, no fine print just unconditional book love and reading recommendations for your students and children.
You can create your own school's page, develop tailored reading lists to share with peers and parents...all helping encourage reading for pleasure in your children.Find out more
Born in Vienna, Eva Ibbotson came to England as a small girl. She spent much of her adult life in Newcastle upon Tyne. When her husband was alive he bred snails in the garage; they also kept fish and had a small and very hairy dog. Eva had four grown-up children and seven grandchildren. She wrote for both adults and children. Which Witch was runner-up for the Carnegie Medal and The Secret of Platform 13 was shortlisted for the Smarties Prize. Journey to the River Sea won the Smarties Book Prize Gold Award, was runner-up for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year and the Guardian Fiction Award, and was also shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.
Eva's books for older readers (12+) include: The Morning Gift, A Song for Summer, The Secret Countess, A Company of Swans and Magic Flutes. Her books for younger readers (9+) include: The Dragonfly Pool, Journey to the River Sea and The Star of Kazan.
And for even younger readers (7+): Which Witch, Dial a Ghost, Not just a Witch, Monster Mission, The Beasts of Clawstone Castle, The secret of Platform 13, The Great Ghost rescue and The Haunting of Hiram.
Eva's final novel that she completed prior to her death at the age of 85 in 2010 is called One Dog and his Boy.
Eva Ibbotson on writing:
"I started to scribble stories when I was about seven years old and I just carried on so I became a writer gradually. I didn't try to get anything published until I was quite grown-up. I write at my mother's old desk, looking out on to a leafy street, and I rewrite what I have written again and again until I get the words the way I want them (most of my pages have been through eight drafts or so). It's my belief that one should be in the same place each day, so that if an idea is hovering it knows where to find you. Ideas can come from places one has seen or conversations one has overheard - or just from nowhere! Being an author can be lonely, difficult and frustrating, but there is nothing else I'd rather be."
A gorgeous 20th anniversary edition of Eva Ibbotson's award-winning, bestselling classic adventure, with a beautiful cover by Katie Hickey and an introduction by award-winning author of Letters from the Lighthouse Emma Carroll. August 2013 Guest Editor, Lauren St John "To me, Eva Ibbotsen is a genius. You can pick up any of her books – The Dragonfly Pool and One Boy and His Dog are also fantastic – and be guaranteed a good read. Journey to the River Sea is about orphaned London schoolgirl, Maia, who, accompanied by her strict but kind governess, is sent to live with her ghastly relatives in South America. Unlike her nature-phobic relatives, Maia loves her exotic, colourful new world. This is a journey of the spirit as well as the globe and the way Maia unfurls like a flower with each new adventure and encounter is one of the many reasons Journey to the River Sea is a classic. A warm, joyous book to be enjoyed by any generation." Chosen by Anne Fine as one of her favourite reads... 'A charming and magical adventure story that is full of wisdom, warmth and understanding. Orphaned Maia is sent off to stay with her relatives far, far away in the heart of the Amazon jungle. She’s excited by the prospect of living such an inspiring place but soon finds that life with her twin cousins Gwendolyn and Beatrice is torture.'
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2021 | Award winning Eva Ibbotson’s poignant and beautiful last book celebrates a boy’s passion for a dog. All Hal has ever wanted is a dog but his parents refuse to contemplate the idea. A dog would mess up their beautiful house and disturb their busy routine. When they discover East Pets, they hire Hal a dog for a weekend thinking that will do the trick. But they don’t know Hal! Hal takes matters into his own hands. Soon Hal and all the dogs he has released from Easy Pets are out on the road – with a price on their head. How Hal makes his escape is both thrilling and moving as it marks his growth from sadness to great happiness.
Rediscover the magical secrets at King's Cross station in a 25th anniversary illustrated edition of Eva Ibbotson's classic, The Secret of Platform 13. Under Platform 13 at King's Cross Station there is a secret door that leads to a magical island . . . It appears only once every nine years. And when it opens, four mysterious figures step into the streets of London. A wizard, an ogre, a fey and a young hag have come to find the prince of their kingdom, stolen as a baby nine years before. But the prince has become a horrible rich boy called Raymond Trottle, who doesn't understand magic and is determined not to be rescued. The Secret of Platform 13 is an exciting magical adventure from Eva Ibbotson, the award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, in a special edition illustrated by Beatriz Castro.
Reading the three stories in this excellent collection reminds one again of what an extremely fine author Eva Ibbotson was, how beautifully she wrote, and how bold she was in her storytelling. All three stories are set in Vienna, where Ibbotson grew up, as preparations for Christmas take place. Christmas in Vienna sounds wonderful, but these preparations are not without tension and even trauma for the principal characters involved. Fortunately, each Christmas, when it finally arrives, is happy and joyful, if in a totally unexpected way. Vicky, whose story comes first, is described as one ‘in whom the flame of imagination burnt with an almost dangerous brightness’ and the same can surely be said of Eva Ibbotson. Funny, surprising, and serious too, these are very special stories indeed. ~ Andrea Reece
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2010. Shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2010. A Richard and Judy Children's Book Club selection 2011 - Fluent Readers Irresistibly ridiculous, this is a wonderful and enchanting romp from a master storyteller. Every year at the Summer Meeting of Unusual Creatures the annual task is set. This year, the task is formidable! Ivo, an un-magical boy, a hag, a troll and a wizard all set about it with the greatest misgivings. The question is, once they have got their courage up, will they succeed? ~ Julia Eccleshare ***Eva's son, Toby Ibbotson, is now continuing the tradition of storytelling with his debut novel Mountwood School for Ghosts which is based on an original idea by Eva Ibbotson.
Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea is the book that for many will be the most memorable of all the books they read as a child. Like Journey to the River Sea, A Company of Swans is set in the Amazon jungle, and is another book to touch the heart. Oppressed by her mean-spirited father and aunt, teenager Harriet is finally driven to rebel and runs away with a troupe of Russian ballerinas, all the way to the city of Manaus. There she falls in love with another runaway, the handsome Rom. Of course the path of their love is far from straight, and Harriet’s nasty father is determined she won’t escape. A Cinderella story distinguished by Ibbotson’s humour, intelligence and gift for creating unusual but always believable characters this wonderful book is recommended for romantics of all ages. ~ Andrea Reece
Romance and intrigue make this lyrical historical adventure an unputdownable read! When a British millionaire sets out to buy a secluded fairy tale castle set high up on a rock above a beautiful lake he finds that its heiress is missing. Meanwhile, the heiress herself is enjoying a secret life working backstage at the Viennese opera. Can the two lives be kept separate forever? Evocative descriptions of the contrasts between the two worlds provide a vivid background for a romp of a read. ~ Julia Eccleshare Lovereading4kids comment: It’s wonderful to see a new edition of a wonderfully evocative novel that was first published back in the early 1980s and has now been given a new cover look for a new generation. Set in the 1920s Tessa is a beautiful young girl who takes on a new identity. As a princess she’s empty and bereft and so disappears to Vienna and works backstage in the theatre. Her secret safely hidden until one day her life collides with a handsome man. In escaping her inheritance with this man she finds her destiny.
The story of this marvellous romance begins in Vienna, then moves to London – the gloomy, tense London of 1939 when the reception for refugees like Ruth and her family was meaner than we’d like to think. It’s a journey Ibbotson herself took, but Ruth’s story has all the elements of a fairy tale. To escape the Nazis she marries a family friend, paleontologist Quinton Somerville. When divorce proves harder to get than either of them imagined, fate throws them together and gives them time to fall in love. Ruth and Quint are delightful characters, as are the supporting cast of relations – passionate Viennese and reserved British. In all fairy stories there is always grief, but there’s also reward for being honest, faithful and good. Ruth gets her happy ending, and it will make readers’ hearts sing. ~ Andrea Reece
This is a beguiling story of a young Russian countess who loses everything in her homeland but finds sanctuary in England as a house maid in an aristocratic household. The trappings of her childhood of privilege are a distant memory but then she falls in love (forbidden of course for she is a servant girl) with the young Earl of the family who is already spoken for, Anna must decide whether to risk losing everything or reveal her true identity in the hope of ensnaring the love of her life. As with all Eva's novels, the writing and characterisation is sublime.
Eva Ibbotson is so clever at capturing moments in history and weaving a story around them and her characters too are so real you feel you can reach out and touch them. Here in A Song for Summer is absolutely no exception. A growing friendship leads to romance but at what price. Can good deliver over evil when it involves Hitler’s Reich and can the relationship survive?
Eva Ibbotson is the author of numerous award winning novels for children including this, a new cover edition of one of her spookiest and most fantastical adventures in which three kidnapped children must save themselves and their new friends they meet on the bizarre island they are taken to. As with all Eva Ibbotson's novels for children, she draws the reader in through the strength of her storytelling and superb characterisation. ***Eva's son, Toby Ibbotson, is now continuing the tradition of storytelling with his debut novel Mountwood School for Ghosts which is based on an original idea by Eva Ibbotson.