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Eva Ibbotson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Great Ghost Rescue (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Which Witch? (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Countess Below Stairs / The Secret Countess (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Reluctant Heiress / Magic Flutes (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Worm & The Toffee Nosed Princess (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Company of Swans (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Haunting of Granite Falls (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Haunting of Hiram C. Hopgood (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Madensky Square (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Not Just a Witch (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Morning Gift (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret of Platform 13 (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dial-a-Ghost (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Song for Summer (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Island of the Aunts (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Journey to the River Sea (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Star of Kazan (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Beasts of Clawstone Castle (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dragonfly Pool (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ogre of Oglefort (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Dog and His Boy (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mountwood School for Ghosts (With: Toby Ibbotson) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

A Glove Shop in Vienna and Other Stories (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Let Sleeping Sea-Monsters Lie and Other Cautionary Tales (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Picture Books

The Abominables (With: Jamie Littler) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

A British novelist who has achieved huge amounts of attention throughout the course of her writing career, the author Eva Ibbotson has been creating her unique brand of children’s fiction for quite some time now, garnering interest for her work that appeals to both the young as well as the old. Winning awards she is not without critical acclaim either, with a large amount of praise being lavished on her many novels and stories. Not only that, but she has also managed to garner renewed interest in recent years, with her work being relabeled for the young adult market, thus gaining her a whole new audience.

Early and Personal Life

Born on the 21st of January in 1925, the writer Eva Ibbotson lived a full eighty-five years until the 20th of October, leaving behind a strong legacy that any author would be proud of. Growing up in Vienna where she was born and raised, she was brought up with her mother, the famous writer Anna Wilhelmine Gmeyner, and father Bertold Paul Wiesner the famous physician. Following in their tradition, she then went on to achieve greatness of her own as a highly influential and important author for much of the twentieth century.

Attending the Darlington Hall School in the United Kingdom after her parents split in 1928 and moved to Britain following the rise of the Nazi party in their home country. This played a major part in her upbringing as she felt displaced for much of it, whilst also proclaiming that it was her school that inspired the novel ‘The Dragonfly Pool’ in 2008. Going on to attend Bedford College in London for her undergraduate degree in 1945, followed by her postgraduate studies which she gained at Cambridge University, all of which allowed her to become more adept at her craft of writing.

Marrying the ecologist Alan Ibbotson, whom she met whilst attending Cambridge University, in 1947, they both went on to live in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It was here that they both raised their daughter and three sons together, as she continued to write and progress with her career as an author, building and establishing her name throughout the following years. This was after she gave up on her initial profession of scientific research, due to her strong distaste of animal cruelty, something which then saw her going on to attend and graduate from the University of Durham in 1965, which she graduated from with a diploma.

After being widowed and continuing to write right up until her death in 2010, she left a strong and influential body of work behind that is respected by both her peers and contemporaries alike. Not just writer of children’s fiction for which she is best known, she has also written for the stage as well, along with the television too, as well as plenty of adult literature as well. Her career has definitely left an impact upon the literary scene and establishment, something which is expected to continue for some time to come yet.

Writing Career

It is her children’s fiction that Eva Ibbotson has perhaps become most famous for, a notable entry being her ‘Secret of Platform 13’, which was compared to that of J.K. Rowling’s later work of Harry Potter. She dismissed this though and felt it was a positive testament to her work and ideas, something for which she was proud along with J.K. Rowlings. Whilst they were both similar in nature and used the same location of King’s Cross Station situated in London, but was appreciated by Ibbotson as she felt writer’s were constantly borrowing from each other and she enjoyed Rowling’s use of the idea.

Getting nominations for awards such as the Guardian Prize in 2001, which she was a runner up for, along with the Smarties Prize as well. She later became a finalist for the Guardian Prize once again in 2010 in the wake of her death, and then again in 2012 when she became a finalist for the prize for a second time. With many of her adult books now being reissued for the young adult market, she has many books that will be appreciated for some time yet as her legacy carries on into the foreseeable future as her work is enjoyed for generations to come.

The Secret of Platform 13

Originally published in 1994 on the first of January, this book came out before the Harry Potter series so there is some contention as to where the latter’s influences lie. Released through the Puffin Books publishing label this was seen as a strong entry into the career of Eva Ibbotson, as it held a lot of the themes and ideas for which she’d became famous for. Using her distinctive fantasy style and tone it manages to build a sense of wonder and whimsy for readers both young and old, with its unique and idiosyncratic setting and ambient atmosphere.

Set at London’s Kings Cross Station, it tells the story of a forgotten door on a platform that holds a secret gateway to a magical and fantastical world. Filled with magic and wonder, this mystical land is only open for nine days every nine years and that is when an evil Mrs. Trottle takes it upon herself to kidnap the prince of an Island there. That then leads to a magical troupe taking it upon themselves to save the day, as they undertake a mission to stop her, which means heading out into London itself. Can the go unnoticed? Will they save their lands? What is the secret of platform 13?

A Song for Summer

Initially published in 1997 it came out on the 7th of September through the Speak publishing label, as it was one of the major entries into the young adult field for Eva Ibbotson. Romantic with historical elements due to its period setting, it manages to convey an emotional state that resonated with its readers of all ages. Setting a style and tone that was set to become idiosyncratic for her work for years to come, she created an overall ambiance for her audience that many of her readers came to know and appreciate for years to come.

After her bohemian life back in England, the student Ellen heads for the even more bohemian lifestyle of Austria where she is to attend the Hallendorf school there. It is here that she meets a colorful cast of characters that she never expected to find, including the ever handsome Marek, an intriguing and equally mysterious gardener. Their relationship is cut short though by the arrival of Hitler’s Reich, as the peace is disturbed and the true identity of Marek is finally revealed to her. Can they overcome? What is his secret? Will they ever find a song for summer?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Eva Ibbotson

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