Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Review: Island of the Aunts

Author: Eva Ibbotson
Publisher: Puffin Books
Type: Juvenile fiction

I found this book, battered and abused, on the one-dollar shelf at a book fair. It was definitely worth it. Here is my review:

What do you get when you combine three oddball aunts, a handful of magical creatures, a hidden island, and three kidnapped children?

Well, if you're wondering, the result is Island of the Aunts.

Aunt Etta, Aunt Coral, and Aunt Myrtle have realized that they are getting on in years. The selkies, mermaids, and other creatures living on their secret island will need someone to care for them after they are gone; someone to continue their work. What they need are a few sensible children who can keep a secret. Aunt Etta convinces her sisters that their best bet is to kidnap. And while kidnapping is not usually the best way to go about things, in this case it just needs to be done.

The newly kidnapped Minnette and Fabio find themselves on a strange island. At first the children are scared, but the magic and awe-inspiring creatures on the island soon drive away their fear. They find that being held hostage by the well-meaning aunts is nothing like what they've ever heard about kidnappers. Since the island is a much happier place than both the children's individual homes, they settle into island life happily.

A third captured child, the spoiled-rotten Lambert Sprott, manages to contact his rich father through his cellular phone. At Lambert's crazy tales of mermaids and giant birds and wingless dragons, Mr. Sprott sets sail, determined that the island is a gold mine for opportunity.

In a classic good vs. evil struggle, the Island of the Aunts will have you entranced in its plot. The writing is loaded with Ibbotson's wit, humor, and charm. It's a funny and touching tale of adventure, magic, and the bad guys getting what they deserve.

I would give this book four stars. Fantasy lovers won't be able to put it down once they get hooked.


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