Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Author Spotlight: Eva Ibbotson

Sometimes you come across an author that you immediately have a connection with. I was a young librarian, having just finished getting my MLS degree, a few months before Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone came out in the U.S. in 1998. I was lucky enough to read it before the other staff and of course, I was hooked.
You know what happened after that. But one of the things that librarians experienced - and still do - is many young readers asking for books "like Harry Potter". Back in the old days before the monster series we have today, we librarians traded and created lists of books that kids would like that maybe had magic in them, or a wizard, or anything to appease the hunger for more HP.

 This is where I first encountered Eva Ibbotson. Her books, Which Witch? (1979) and The Secret of Platform 13 (1994) were ALWAYS added to those lists. I found she had a charmingly wacky and magically fun way of telling stories.
I adored Island of the Aunts, her ghost books are a hoot, and she was many awards for her historical Journey to the River Sea. Then I found out she was an Austrian-born Brit and I liked her even more (those are my two main nationalities!)
For our last Next Chapter of the school year, we recently read the Ogre of Oglefort. Another great title filled with hilarious characters. And last year I read the Abominables for an awards committee I was on - of course I adored it. Sadly, it was published after her death in 2010.
So when you come into RML, needless to say you will find many Eva Ibbotson books. I hope young readers will connect with her the same way I have. This post from the Book Aunt blog says it all better than I can, so check it out!

Lessons From Eva Ibbotson

And I almost forgot! One Dog and His Boy was named an Intermediate Nutmeg Book Award selection this year!