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A forgotten door on an abandoned railway platform is the entrance to a magical kingdom—an island where humans live happily with mermaids, ogres, and other wonderful creatures. Carefully hidden from the world, the Island is only accessible when the door opens for nine days every nine years. When the beastly Mrs. Trottle kidnaps the Island's young prince, it's up to a strange band of rescuers to save him. But can the rescuers—an ogre, a hag, a wizard, and a fey—sneak around London unnoticed? Fans of Roald Dahl, ...
A forgotten door on an abandoned railway platform is the entrance to a magical kingdom—an island where humans live happily with mermaids, ogres, and other wonderful creatures. Carefully hidden from the world, the Island is only accessible when the door opens for nine days every nine years. When the beastly Mrs. Trottle kidnaps the Island's young prince, it's up to a strange band of rescuers to save him. But can the rescuers—an ogre, a hag, a wizard, and a fey—sneak around London unnoticed? Fans of Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, and E. Nesbit will delight in this comic fantasy.
Odge Gribble, a young hag, joins an old wizard, a gentle fey, and a giant ogre on a journey from their magical island kingdom to London through a tunnel which opens every nine years for nine days, to try and rescue the young prince who had been stolen as an infant nine years before.
Ghosts and hags, wizards and banshees, mermaids and mistmakers—allare part of the magical worlds that Eva Ibbotson creates in her fantasy books for children. Even her more realistic stories are set in exotic places like the Amazon River in South America, where the natural world creates a mystical sense of wonder. Ibbotson introduces us to an array of fascinating characters and creatures: some from real life, some from folklore and mythology, and some completely original. What readers discover in her books is a love for the natural world in all its forms, plus fast-moving plots that emphasize the importance of showing kindness to others and never being quick to judge those who are different from ourselves. Humor plays an important role in her stories, for they are meant to be entertaining above all. Yet long after the last page is turned, the deeper meanings that emerge from these rollicking adventures linger in the reader's mind.
About the Books
Miss Pringle and Mrs. Mannering run an agency that matches ghosts who need a home with people who want their dwellings haunted. And they do a very good job of it... until an error by their hapless office boy mixes up two assignments. This mistake is disconcerting to the nuns who requested a family of quiet ghosts for their old country abbey and end up with the Shriekers, a couple who scream constantly and terrorize the livestock. But it's a very fortunate error for Oliver, a small boy whose scheming cousins hoped the Shriekers would frighten him to death so that they could take over his inheritance, a huge manor house. When the gentle Wilkinson family arrives at Helton Hall instead, they immediately befriend the boy, and he is delighted to have such kindly ghost company. They decide to help Oliver escape the clutches of his evil cousins, Fulton and Frieda Snodde-Brittle. But Fulton has more wicked plans of his own. Dial-a-Ghost is a fast-moving romp through a plot with more twists and turns than you can count and a cast of characters who are loving and heartless, comfortable and cruel, charming and chilling, whether they are made of flesh or ectoplasm.
Island of the Aunts
Etta, Coral, and Myrtle tend to the needs of a number of remarkable creatures on the Island, a place forgotten by most people—and they are very happy to keep it that way. But the three sisters are getting on in years and need help caring for their assortment of seals, fish, mermaids, birds, and other sea creatures. So they decide to kidnap some children to be their assistants. Each poses as a hired "aunt" from a London agency, and soon they return to the Island with their stolen charges. Minette and Fabio, confused at first, grow to love the Island and its many unusual creatures. They keep putting off their escape back to their troubled homes. But Lambert, the boy Myrtle kidnapped, is a pampered brat who refuses to believe any of the Island's inhabitants actually exist. When Lambert uses his cell phone to call his father, the whole Island way of life is threatened by Mr. Sprott's scheme to turn the place into an amusement park. He doesn't reckon, however, on the power—and anger—of the most magical creature of all, a larger-than-life spirit of the sea, the kraken.
Journey to the River Sea
Maia feels at home in the boarding school where she lives in London, in 1910. It is the only home she has known since her parents died two years earlier. When distant cousins are discovered 4,000 miles away, Maia must travel to the exotic Amazon River town of Manaus to live with them. She is accompanied on her journey by a governess, the imposing Miss Minton, who has her own secret reasons for accepting a post so far from home. They arrive in South America and soon discover that the Carters, Maia's cousins, are selfish and greedy people who isolate themselves from the wild beauty of the countryside around them. With the help of her clever governess, Maia finds moments of brief escape from their stifling home and makes friends with a strange Indian boy named Finn and a homesick child actor called Clovis. Soon she is swept up in the human intrigues and natural wonders of the world around her. As she helps her new friends to follow their dreams and desires, Maia learns what is most important to her and where her own future will lie.
The Secret of Platform 13
Hidden under Platform 13 in King's Cross Station is a gump, a secret entrance to another world. This doorway opens only for nine days every nine years. During those nine days, beings are free to come and go between our world and a magical Island, where fantastic creatures and humans live together sensibly and peacefully, shrouded from view by the hazy clouds created by lovable animals known as mistmakers. When the infant prince of the Island is kidnapped to our world by the unpleasant Mrs. Trottle, a strange band of rescuers is assembled nine years later to bring him back, and a fast-paced tale of magic, mayhem, and mistaken identity ensues. At first the rescuers are delighted to meet Ben, a sweet boy who could be the prince in spite of his lowly status in the Trottle house. But it soon becomes apparent that the real prince must be Raymond, the Trottles' rather obnoxious, spoiled son. Raymond, however, has no interest in leaving his pampered life for a mystical island. One of the rescuers, a young hag named Odge Gribble, is a tough, no-nonsense type who is determined on success. What she doesn't expect is that, in the end, she'll care much more about being a friend than a hero.
Arriman is a very dark wizard, proud of his skills, but feeling bored and weary. Consulting a fortune-teller, he learns that a replacement wizard will arrive to relieve him of his duties, but he grows impatient waiting and decides that he must marry to produce an heir. The problem is finding a wife. The only wife for a wizard must be a witch, of course, but which witch? How to decide? The only way seems to be to hold a contest for the local witches. One glimpse of Arriman convinces Belladonna that she must win. But what chance does a white witch have of doing the dark magic worthy of a wizard's heart? Belladonna finds unlikely but effective allies in a foundling named Terence and his pet earthworm, Rover. Rover seems to be a powerful witch's familiar, an animal capable of inspiring very black magic. Belladonna might win. But then Madame Olympia, a skilled sorceress, arrives from London to compete, and the magical earthworm mysteriously disappears. Belladonna's chances become slim at best until events take a surprising turn that even Madame Olympia could not have predicted.
ABOUT EVA IBBOTSON
Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in the years before World War II. Her mother was a playwright and her father a scientist, but the marriage was unhappy and they soon went their separate ways. Eva's early childhood was spent shuttling back and forth in trains across Europe, from one parent to the other. When Hitler rose to power, Eva's father went to Great Britain, and her mother, after remarriage to a Russian philosopher, soon followed him. Eva switched languages and spent the rest of her childhood in a progressive boarding school, striving to become British. After taking a degree in Physiology at London University, she went on to do research at the University of Cambridge, but she found the experiments she had to perform on living animals very distressing. The results of her experiments were "peculiar," she relates, so when a fellow student, Alan Ibbotson, suggested she could do less harm to science by leaving it and marrying him, she accepted without hesitation. The couple moved to Newcastle, in the north of England, where they raised four children and Eva began writing short stories. When the youngest son started school, she wrote her first full-length novel for children and continued to write for children and adults alternately, much to the delight of her many readers.
The National Trust
The National Trust is an organization dedicated to the preservation of the countryside, coastline, and important buildings and gardens in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This site lists interesting places to visit.
Site of the National Geographic Society. Look up maps of London and the Amazon River. Search the sea around the British Isles for places where the Island might be found.
Ghost Watch UK
An English organization that specializes in paranormal investigations. Their site includes stories and anecdotes of people's encounters with ghosts and ghostly phenomena.
AN INTERVIEW WITH EVA IBBOTSON
Magical beings are central to many of your books. Have you always been interested in the supernatural?
No, curiously I was never particularly interested in the supernatural—quite the contrary. Ghost stories frightened me badly as a child, although I didn't really believe that ghosts existed. I think I began to write about ghosts and witches and magic generally to make children less afraid; to turn these beings into creatures much like us but of course able to do more interesting things. My ghosts and witches are more like underdogs, people on the fringes who need sympathy and help. And the witches in Which Witch? are based on my relatives—the nice witches anyway!
Your main characters all seem to come up against people who are more interested in money and power than in feelings and compassion. Is this a theme you consciously set out to explore in every book?
I think of my books as entertainments, a kind of present I give the reader, and any serious themes that come up are a by-product. But of course when I am creating "baddies" for the purposes of the plot, I find myself choosing people with the characteristics I dislike most—and there is nothing I despise more than financial greed and a lust for power.
Humor is an important element in most of your stories. What do you think is the role that humor plays in shaping our lives and our personalities?
I don't really know how to define humor or how to describe it; it is something you have to show. But I do know that both in my personal life and in my work I would be completely lost without humor...without the ability to turn things upside down, to extract something ridiculous out of the most solemn moment. Incidentally, when I'm writing I find humor—jokes that aren't forced or silly—by far the hardest thing to pull off.
In Journey to the River Sea you have written a more realistic story with a strong theme about the importance of nature to the human spirit. What was your inspiration for this story?
I wrote Journey to the River Sea not long after my husband died. He was a committed naturalist, someone who combined a deep knowledge of animals and plants with a spiritual outlook that had been strengthened by his war service in India and Burma. I think I felt at that time that I needed a rest from my usual fantasy stories—though goodness knows the Amazon landscape is fantastical enough in its own right! I wanted to write a story that was simple and old-fashioned and direct. But I have to say that the reasons one gives for writing anything tend to be made up afterwards. At the time you just find yourself doing it!
Posted May 2, 2010
This is a book that is either going to sit and collect dust on my bookshelf or I'm donating it. Not at all what I thought it would be. I purchased this book because I saw it may have influenced JK Rowling, so naturally I wanted to read it to see what it was like. Okay yes I can see a similarity between Raymond and Dudley. And the platform name, 13 vs 9 3/4. But that's its. There is little to no magic, and what magic there is, is boring. Nothing fantastic about it. No imagination to this book. It's all about trying to get a boy named Raymond who as a baby was kidnapped and turns out he is a prince, back to the island to be reunited with his parents, the King and Queen. Raymond behaves as opposite a prince as could be. Just like Dudley. Spoiled rotten. Carries on when he doesn't get what he wants. And I'm not going to say anymore because there are others that are interested in the book and I don't want to give it away.
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Posted May 4, 2009
What I thought of the book The Secret Of platform 13 was that it was a great fun reading novel and i fully recomend it to everyone!This book I waouls day covers the ages from ten to maybe fourteen. In this book, there is very creative styles and the plot, in the writing. I found this book the most creative book I have read in a long time, also the most interesting. I could tell that the author, Eva Ibbotaon carefully chose words and phrasese to go in a specific part of the novel. This book I thought was great for reading in school with your class or outside of school by yourself even with a small book club. I thought that once I started reading the book, it jkept hooking me into it, and I could nbot put it down. This book has one of the most unexpected endings that I have ever read or seen on tv, or in amovie. It is so surprising! Also at times this book can be very confusing, the author just gives way too much information at one tomne and it makes it diifulct to understand. The book does get better as it moves along. Normally I do not reading fantasy novels, so if you are like me, I bet you would like this book. If you really like this book, I reccomend reading the Harry Potter Serires. Overall, this book is an outstanding book, and the best fantasy novel I hav ever read. This book as very realistic, at some points it can be funny, but for the majority of time, this book tries to be serious. This book has mystic creatures that don't exist today, and some human beings. The secret of Platform 13 has many creative and interesting ways to explain or describe them. This book has it's fast and slow times and seomtines thios book will be moving on with too much information, and at other times, it continues with little information. I think the author could have done a better job at equaling things out. What I love most about books is all the unexpected things that happened.The thrill, of not knowing what is going to happen next. You just can't predict it, especially if you had to. I feel that this book was superb, and that everybody should read it and that everyone should read it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 3, 2009
The Secret of Platform 13
In The Secret of Platform 13, there are four characters that are searching for the son (10 years old) of the king and queen who rule a secret island off the coast of England. On the island there are many different creatures like mist makers, who are little animals who make mist when they hear music which the islanders use to hide the island from planes and boats. There are also ogres, mermaids, and hags. The main character is a hag named Ogga. The only way to get to the island is by a grump (doorway), in the middle of Platform 13 in deserted London train station. It leads to a beach where there are islanders waiting to pick you up. But the grump is only opened for 9 days every nine years. The characters are a wizard, a hag (Ogga), an ogre and a fey. The son was kidnapped by a rich lady, who named the boy Raymond. The rescuers have a job to convince him to come back to the island. When they thought they found him they asked him if he wanted to come to the island, he told them he was Ben, just a servant for Raymond (he was 10 years old also) and that the real Raymond is spoiled, a brat, and fat. After the rescuers and some other people from the island put on a show for Raymond, he tells his mom and she thinks someone has been trying to sell him drugs. So Raymond and she go into hiding. When the rescuers finally found where they are, they set up a plan to steal him back. But when there plan fails the island is forced to send in creatures that are half bird, half women. These creatures are very mean and have the worst smell on the island. While the rescuers are returning, Ogga goes and asks Ben if he wants to come and they start running because the grump would close in a couple hours. The creatures return before Ogga and Ben with a sack, the queen runs up to it to look at her son and Raymond starts yelling and kicking. Ben and Ogga finally come and the king, queen and Ben automatically know that he is their real son. After that Raymond is sent back, Ben lives in the palace with the king and queen. In the end, Ben and Ogga are walking on the beach and Ben invites Ogga to live in the palace, and she agrees.
Some of the positives are that the vocabulary is not too difficult. Also that the chapters are good lengths. Next there is a very good plot. Also there are many characters that other authors would not put in there books. Lastly there is a great plot.
Some of the negatives are that it could have been a little longer. Also at the beginning it was a little weird. Lastly, that the paragraphs weren't to long.
The authors writing style in this book is medium length sentences. Also, she has short but, a lot of paragraphs.
There are many people who I would recommend this book to. I would recommend it to 5th and 6th graders. One reason is because even though it didn't have a lot of pages it did have a lot of content. I would also recommend this to both boys and girls because there are no parts that boys would not like and no parts girls wouldn't like. Lastly I would recommend this to kids who like mystery with some fantasy in it.
Other books by this author wrote are "Which Witch? ", "Eyetooth", and "The Journey to River Sea"
Posted August 16, 2008
Eva Ibbotson's The Secret of Platform 13 will lure readers of all ages into an exciting tale of adventure and surprizes and most importantly secrets! A most unlikely group of rescuers are sent out to return the prince that had been kidnapped by another world. But they face a challenge, can they find and bring him back before time runs out?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 20, 2008
The secret of Platform 13 is an awesome book that I recomend to every one that is in to fantasy books. It is about a prince that gets kidnapped as a baby and is trapped in a normal world. Can he be rescued? To find out, you have to read the book. This book is 'secretly great!'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2008
A wizard, an ogre,afey and a young hag have come to find a prince of their kingdom,stolen as a baby nine years before.But the prince has become a horrible rich boy called rayond trottle who doesn,t understand magic and is determined not to be rescued.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 19, 2008
when i started reading this book, i thought it might be interesting, but other eva ibbotson books are much better. it became only too obvious in the beginning where ben is described that he was the real prince the rescuers were looking for ,especially because of the description that he 'had a sense of belonging' when he met the rescuers and was not affected much by different forms of magic. anyhow, it is okay, but not too good. the way the trottles are left in the end is quite amusing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 30, 2005
I, for one thought that this book was going to be WAY better. By the cover it looks like it is full of mystery and irony. After you read the book you figure out that it is the exact opposite! I think that the author could have done a way better job with this book in more than one place in the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 5, 2005
I love this book and I think everyone sould read it. I like the use of description, and the character abilities. I like the mist makers and the little girl Odge. I rate this book a outstanding 5 starsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 27, 2005
Posted October 5, 2003
When my daughter and I saw Ibbotson's books at the bookstore or in the library, we scoffed and remarked that they looked like copies of Harry Potter. It was not until I read a review here, in which the reader referred to their pre-Potter publication, that I realized they were anything but copies. In fact, I'm guessing that Rowling may have been inspired in part by Ibbotson, many of whose characters and circumstances bear similarities to those found in the Harry Potter books. Certainly, there's room in the magical world for both authors' wonderful works, and readers of one are likely to enjoy the other as well. The Secret of Platform 13 is humorous, original, and gentle. My daughter and I, both fans of Rowling, have become surprised and delighted fans of Ibbotson and hope that you will, too!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 9, 2003
'The Secret of Platform 13,' written by Eva Ibbotson is different but an awesome book. Platform 13 is an old run-down train station in London. But there is something very suspicious about it. There is door leading to a magical kingdom where humans live happily with creatures like witches and ogres. Then a beastly woman, Mrs. Trottle, kidnaps the islands prince and takes him into London. To find out more read this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 29, 2003
Action, intrigue, friendship, and magical worlds are all a big part of this great novel by Eva Ibbotson. I have read other books by her, but this one is the best so far. The way she describes the Magical Island, and all the creatures that live on it, make you feel like your actually there. Part of me even wishes there was such a fantasy-filled island. It all starts when the king and queen of a magical island have a wonderful, sweet, baby boy who is heir to the throne. But when the door to this island is opened for 9 days to the outside world, the prince and his nurses go up and the young boy is kidnapped by an evil, rich lady named Mrs. Trottle. The island grieves, and grieves, but nothing will bring the prince back. Finally after 9 years, the door is opened again and Cor, a wizard, Gurkie, a fey, Hans, a ogre, and Odge, a hag, go up and brave the streets of London to find and bring the prince back to the island. But will they succeed? I liked how the book¿s magical elements weren¿t so unbelievable, but instead you could relate to them. When the author describes Gurkie, the fey, (women who have a power for growing,) you think of her as a mother type figure because she is so kind and giving. And I think of the wizard Cor, like Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter, even though this book was written before. In fact, J.K. Rowling¿s Harry Potter is very similar to The Secret of Platform 13. The characters go through a gump through Platform 13 at Kings Cross station. And in Harry Potter, they characters disappear through Platform 9 and 3 quarters at Kings Cross station as well. But if it even sounds possible, I thought this was better than Harry Potter and the Sorcerors Stone. And much more interesting then other fantasy books I¿ve read. The book also had really cool fantasy creatures in it. Like Melisande, the water nymph, Henry Pendergast, the troll who can morph into whatever he wants, and the best creatures of all, Mistmakers. Mistmakers are seal-like animals that love beautiful music and produce mist whenever they hear it. The only part I didn¿t like in the book was when the author talked about Raymond, the fat child of Mrs. Trottle. Maybe the author described his fat a little too well. And he acted a lot like the kid I used to babysit. Bratty, demanding, and whiny all the time. So I really, really, knew how the characters felt when they couldn¿t put up with him anymore. So, in conclusion, all you Harry Potter fans should pick up The Secret of Platform 13. The great written book will have you hooked until the book is over, and then you can go and read some of the authors other books. So if you like fantasy, this is one of the best ones out thereWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 31, 2003
Posted January 21, 2003
I found this book to be very exciting and adventurous. The author's descriptions of the places in the book really brought it to life for me. It did get to be a bit predictable in places, but all in all, a very good read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2003
this book was very good. it was full of fantasy which i liked. and it ws very well composed . the imagery let you create a picture in your mind. i think this is the best book EVERRRWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 15, 2002
If you like adventure books and weird characters, then you should read The Secret of Platform 13. The story takes place on a mythical island filled with creatures you can only read about. Every one on the island is filled with joy when the king and queen have a baby boy. But before he is old enough to walk, he is kidnapped by the evil Mrs. Trottle. It is up to a strange group of people to save the prince. A wizard, a Giant, a flower witch named Gurkintrude, and a Hag named Odge. Will they save the prince or will he grow up not knowing he is apart of a royal family........ Find out when you read The Secret of Platform 13Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 15, 2002
The book is about four travelers that try and save a prince that got stolen from his parents when he is very young. The prince goes with travelers through a mistical thing called a gump that opens evry 9 years for only 9 days and he gets kidnapped by a rich woman(Mrs.Trottle).The travelers get the prince confused with someone else. Who will the travelers come back with?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 3, 2002
Posted April 27, 2002