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Born in Vienna, Eva came to England as a small girl and now lives 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 has four grown-up children and seven grandchildren. Eva Ibbotson writes 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.
A message from the author:
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.
Her books for older readers (12+) include: The Morning Gift, A Song for Summer, The Secret Countess, A Company of Swans and Magic Flute.
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.
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.
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.
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’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
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
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." 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.
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. 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.
With beautiful cover illustration by Alex T. Smith, creator of the Claude series, Dial a Ghost is a wonderfully spooky young fiction title from the award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson. 'Get me some ghosts,' said Fulton Snodde-Brittle. 'Frightful and dangerous ghosts!' Fulton has gone to the Dial a Ghost agency with an evil plan. He wants to hire some truly terrifying ghosts to scare his nephew Oliver to death. The Shriekers are the most violent and sickening spectres the agency has, but a mix-up means the kind Wilkinson ghosts are sent in their place. Now Oliver has some spooky allies to help him outwit the wicked Snodde-Brittles . . .
With a beautiful cover illustration by Alex T. Smith, creator of the Claude series, The Great Ghost Rescue is a wonderfully spooky young fiction title from the award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson. 'Nobody knew what had gone wrong with Humphrey. Perhaps it was his ectoplasm . . .' Humphrey the Horrible sounds scary, but he's actually a very friendly skeleton, with twinkling eye sockets and jangling finger bones. Humphrey dreams of being ghastly, like his brother - a screaming skull - or terrifying, like his bloodsucking vampire-bat cousins. But when Humphrey discovers an evil plot to exorcise his family, he finally realizes you don't have to be spine-chillingly fearsome to be a hero.
With a beautiful cover illustration by Alex T. Smith, creator of the Claude series, Not Just A Witch is a wonderfully spooky young fiction title from the award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson. 'I want you to change the next wicked person you see into a tiger,' demanded Lionel. 'A very large tiger.' Heckie is not just a witch - she's an animal witch, who wants to make the world a better place by transforming evil people into harmless animals, using her incredible Toe of Transformation and her awesome Knuckle of Power. But when slimy Lionel Knapsack charms Heckie, her magic begins to take a darker direction. Her friends, including a cheese wizard and a boy called Daniel, must come to the rescue . . .
With a beautiful cover illustration by Alex T. Smith, creator of the Claude series, The Ogre of Oglefort is a wonderfully spooky young fiction title from the award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson. When a Hag, an orphan boy called Ivo, Ulf the troll and wizard Brian Brainsweller are sent to rescue a princess from an ogre, they briefly consider running away and hiding. Can they be any match for the gruesome, terrifying, ghastly, flesh-eating Ogre of Oglefort? But not all is as it first appears - the Ogre is depressed and the princess doesn't want to be rescued. The Norns, who rule their fates, decide to take things in hand and send a gang of the vilest, most petrifying ghouls to get the job done properly . . .
Es geht nicht um Liebe. Um ihr Leben zu retten, heiratet die Judin Ruth Berger 1938 in Wien Quinton Somerville. So kann sie nach London entkommen. Doch dort verzogert sich die Auflosung der Scheinehe. Ruth lernt nicht nur England, sondern auch Quinton selbst kennen ...Eine wunderbare Liebesgeschichte voller Gefuhl - das Meisterwerk der beruhmten Bestseller-Autorin
Two enchanting stories from one of the world's best-loved children's writers. High on a Himalayan mountain, a young explorer is snatched from her tent by a gigantic, hairy monster. But she soon discovers that the yeti is a brave and noble beast - and he needs her help. Dog-crazy Hal longs for a dog and finally his parents let him choose one. But they don't tell him that Fleck is only on loan for the weekend. Can Hal and Fleck find a way to be together?
Which Witch? is a brilliantly witty tale of magic and marriage by Eva Ibbotson, shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. 'Find me a witch!' cried Arriman the Awful, feared Wizard of the North. Arriman has decided to marry. His wife must be a witch of the darkest powers - but which witch will she be? To find the most fiendish, he holds a spell-casting competition. Glamorous Madame Olympia performs the terrifying Symphony of Death and conjures up a thousand plague-bearing rats. The magic of gentle Belladonna, the white witch, goes hopelessly wrong. She produces perfumed flowers instead of snakes. And bats roost in her golden hair instead of becoming blood-sucking vampires. Poor Belladonna longs to be an evil enchantress - but how? 'This kind of fun will never fail to delight' - Philip Pullman.
The Beasts of Clawstone Castle is a fantastically spooky adventure from the author of Dial a Ghost, Eva Ibbotson. 'We need proper ghosts,' said Ned, 'really scary ones with heads that come off and daggers in their chests!' When Madlyn and her younger brother Rollo arrive at crumbling Clawstone Castle, they can see that emergency action is needed before Clawstone falls down completely. With the help of a team of homeless, scary ghosts -including a one-eyed skeleton and Brenda the Bloodstained Bride - they hatch a spooky plan to get the money rolling in. But with a sinister scientist on the loose, money might not be enough to save the mysterious beasts of Clawstone Castle . . .
Monster Mission by Eva Ibbotson is a fun fantasy adventure full of fantastical creatures and mythical monsters! 'We must kidnap some children,' announced Aunt Etta. 'Young, strong ones. It will be dangerous, but it must be done.' Three children are stolen and taken to a bizarre island, which is home to some extraordinary creatures - including mermaids, selkies and the legendary kraken. The island is the base for a very mysterious mission. But the magical adventure is cut short when the island is suddenly under siege. Can the children save themselves and their new friends? 'Funny, gripping, charming and completely irresistible' - Amanda Craig
Eva Ibbotson has proven that romantic fiction can be funny, well written, and even a little erudite. Her novel Magic Flutes won the Romantic Novelists Association award and, along with A Company of Swans, was a Booklist Editors' Choice selection. The New York Times said of Madensky Square that "e;she has fine-tuned-and perhaps even enlarged-the [romantic] genre."e;A Glove Shop in Vienna and Other Stories is a delightful collection of eighteen of the best of Eva Ibbotson's short stories. They range from nineteeth-century Vienna to the north of England at the end of the last century, from prerevolutionary Russia to the devastated Brazilian Amazon. Each setting is magically recreated and peopled with the remarkable, memorable characters that are Ibbotson's trademark.Here , in "e;A Glove Shop in Vienna,"e; the title story, Great-Uncle Max is torn between his grand and secret passion for Susie, the enchanting glove shop assistant, and the devotion of his large, opera singer wife. Here is Miss Bennett, drama mistress at the fading Markham Street Primary School, whose search for a baby Jesus for the nativity play yields unexpected and miraculous results. Nina, the beautiful chanteuse, never fails to wear a white rose for Paul, the lover who years ago disappeared to allow her success. Kira, a dancer in Russia's Imperial Ballet school, is thrown out onto the streets of St. Petersburg, and found by Edwin, a lonely dreamer. These and many more are the characters whose experience, bittersweet and incurably romantic, is the foundation for Ibbotson's vivid and unforgettable stories.
The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson is an enchanting tale of friendship and determination during the Second World War, from the author of The Star of Kazan. Tally Hamilton is furious to hear she is being sent from London to a horrid, stuffy boarding school in the countryside. And all because of the stupid war. But Delderton Hall is a far more interesting place than Tally ever imagined, and an exciting school trip to the beautiful and luscious kingdom of Bergania whisks Tally into an unexpected adventure . . . will she be able to save her new friend, Prince Karil, before it's too late?
Eva Ibbotson's hugely entertaining The Star of Kazan is a timeless classic for readers young and old. In 1896, in a pilgrim church in the Alps, an abandoned baby girl is found by a cook and a housemaid. They take her home, and Annika grows up in the servants' quarters of a house belonging to three eccentric Viennese professors. She is happy there, but dreams of the day when her real mother will come to find her. And sure enough, one day a glamorous stranger arrives at the door. After years of guilt and searching, Annika's mother has come to claim her daughter, who is in fact a Prussian aristocrat whose true home is a great castle. But at crumbling, spooky Spittal, Annika discovers that all is not as it seems in the lives of her new-found family . . .
A hundred years ago, in the Himalayan peaks of Nanvi Dar, the daughter of an English earl is kidnapped by a huge hairy monster. In a secret valley Agatha Farley is introduced to a family of motherless yetis and devotes her life to their upbringing. She teaches them to speak, tells them stories and insists on polite manners. But as the decades pass, tourists come to the mountains, a hotel is built and yeti-hunters arrive. Agatha knows that there is one place in the world where they would be protected - her ancetral home at Farley Towers. When a boy and his sister stumble upon her hidden valley, she knows she has found the courageous people who will carry out her plan. The excited yetis are smuggled into the bridal suite at the hotel. A freezer lorry is waiting to put them into semi-hibernation on the long trip home. But the baby yak that has fallen in love with the youngest yeti foils the refrigeration plan and they set off on a hugely entertaining road trip half way across the world. In the Sultan of Aslerfan's kingdom the yetis release all the animals from his zoo. In the Alps they rescue a lost child in a blizzard. In Spain, the yak creates chaos at a bullfight. But when they arrive in England, a terrible shock awaits them at Farley Towers...This early novel, never submitted for publication, contains all the trademark qualities that made Eva's subsequent books so successful; comedy, loveable and eccentric characters, perfectly-crafted plotting, and inspiring themes of tolerance, kindness to animals, and the defeat of cruelty.
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