Sunday, April 10, 2016

Eva Ibbotson #atozchallenge

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I had a hard time coming up with a post for "I"!

If I'm going to choose a book to read for fun, it's probably going to be in the fantasy genre. I'm a lifelong lover of fairy tales and magic. Unfortunately, a lot of what passes for fantasy these days is glorified romance novels. Not really my thing. I tend to look for books in the juvenile section.

A few years ago, a friend of mine mentioned that she was delighted to find books by Eva Ibbotson still in print, as she had fond memories of reading them as a child. Of course, I had to go see what they were all about. I found enjoyable stories, probably best for 8-12 year olds, if you consider the reading level. (Amazon has both grades 5-8 and ages 8-12 listed.)

Eva Ibbotson (full name: Eva Maria Charlotte Michelle Ibbotson, née Wiesner) was born in Vienna, Austria in 1925. Her parents separated in 1928, and her father took a professorship in Edinburgh, Scotland, and her mother, a playwright left Vienna for Paris when Hitler banned her work, and ended up in Middlesex, England. Ibbotson's childhood was spent between them, and her experience fleeing Vienna, as well as spending time between parents, is definitely reflected in her writing.

My favorite one is probably Journey to the River Sea, about a little girl named Maia who was orphaned and sent from England, with her governess, to live with relatives in Brazil. It's an adventure story, rather than a fantasy story, but I loved reading it and remember thinking my girls would really enjoy it.  I also really enjoyed Island of the Aunts, which is about an island where some elderly ladies take care of fantasy creatures, and are looking for some children to train up to be their replacement caretakers. Lots of fun.

I think her stories would make great read-alouds, as well as fun reads for kids (or anyone else who likes British fantasy children's authors). I've picked up a lot of mine at library sales, which is great because they were inexpensive, but also a little sad, because libraries aren't keeping them for children to read. 

I'm trying out an Amazon widget so you can see covers of the titles of the Ibbotson books I have. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds so good. Like you, I do not like the current types of fantasy novels as they tend to be heavy on the romance. I really like the "old-fashioned" type that I used to read as a kid. These books that you've posted look more my fantasy speed. Thanks for sharing! (I also had a hard time with I).