Tuesday, 26 October 2010
I know that I am not alone in loving her magical and vividly descriptive fairy tale like writing in her books like The Star of Kazan coupled contrastingly with adventure stories for younger readers such as Monster Mission that all have happy endings.
Her books are filled with fantastical creatures: witches, wizards and banshees galore dropped into wildly imagined exotic worlds as well as her favourite characters of eccentric Aunts and cruel guardians that torment orphans in their care. Questioned about this familiar Aunt feature in her books she said: 'When I get stuck into a book I usually try putting an Aunt in.'
She reminds me a little of Enid Blyton with her slightly old fashioned writing, filled with adventure, fantasy, mystery, magic and nature.
Many of her books were inspired by her childhood spent in Vienna and as a refugee in Britain, which is what makes many of her books so unique with first hand experience of her character Anna's (in the Secret Countess) experience of having to escape from the Russian revolution to Britain and other stories set in Vienna.
Here is a short biogrpahy of her life taken from The Independant :
Born in Vienna in 1925, Eva Ibbotson spent her early years shuttling between separated parents: her scientist father and her writer mother. She came to England after the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 with her father, a physiologist appointed to a post at Edinburgh University; her mother followed a year later. She attended Dartington Hall and studied physiology at university, where she met her husband, the ecologist Alan Ibbotson. They moved to Newcastle, where he taught at the university, and had four children; he died in 1998.
The Haunting of Granite Falls
The Star of Kazan- I have not read this for a few years now but I remember the rich storyline that had me captured, it was the first book of hers that I read. It was shortlisted for the 2005 Carnegie Medal.
Journey to The River Sea- Nature features heavily in this one (as it can be seen on the cover) as it does in others of her books and Obama has said recently that he has brought the book for his daughters age nine and twelve. It came runner up in the Guardian's Children's Fiction Award, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award, and won the Gold Medal for the 2003 Smarties prize.
A Company of Swans (reviewed here)