ISLAND OF THE AUNTS by Eva Ibbotson

ISLAND OF THE AUNTS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

A mischarted island becomes a refuge for injured sea creatures—including a few mythical ones—in this now-poignant, now-farcical adventure from the author of The Secret of Platform 13 (1998). After decades of tending to oil-covered sea birds, traumatized mermaids, the occasional stoorworm (a wingless dragon) or elephant-sized boobrie bird, the three unmarried Harper sisters feel old age creeping up: so off they hie to spirit away three children to train as successors. They return with 10-year-old Minette, who has spent much of her life unhappily shuttling between extremely divorced parents, Brazilian-born Fabio, who is being forced into the mold of a young British gentleman at dreary Greymarsh Towers boarding school, and Lambert Sprott, spoiled scion of predatory entrepreneur Stanley Sprott. Minette and Fabio quickly fall in love with the island and its inhabitants, particularly after the mountain-sized Kraken, the oceans’ mighty protector, wakes from a 100-year sleep and drops off his new son before beginning a world-spanning patrol. Lambert, however, a real chip off the old block, gives the game away as soon as he finds his cell phone. Enter Stanley, both to rescue his son and, dazzled by visions of a lucrative sideshow, to seize the island’s less common residents just before the police arrive. Ibbotson’s cast is made up largely of types and adult caricatures, but briskly stirring in oodles of complications, she brings the plot to a boil that climaxes with the enraged Kraken charging in to rescue his son on one side, and the Aunts caught in a sensational public trial for kidnapping on the other. The author dishes up a satisfying romp flavored with strong sympathy for those who care for the natural world rather than exploit it. Like her previous books, this will ride high on “Others Like Harry Potter” lists for its style of humor, sturdy young protagonists, and array of fantastical beings. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-525-46484-0
Page count: 276pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2000




EVA IBBOTSON'S CHILDREN'S BOOKS:

Children THE SECRET OF PLATFORM 13 by Eva Ibbotson
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Children WHICH WITCH? by Eva Ibbotson
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Children ISLAND OF THE AUNTS by Eva Ibbotson
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Children DIAL-A-GHOST by Eva Ibbotson
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