Wednesday, the 29th of January–Shelf Control time once again! A weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, Shelf Control celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it. Link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks!

For this, the final Shelf Control post for this month, my pick is a children’s book, Monster Mission by Eva Ibbotson. First published in 1999, this book has also appeared under an alternative title, Island of the Aunts. The book has been a School Library Journal best book of the year for the year 2000.

The book takes us to an extraordinary island inhabited by fantastic creatures including mermaids, selkies, and kraken, all looked after by three sisters. But as the ‘aunts’ are growing older, they decide to find (kidnap) three children to come to the island and take over their work. But not all the children are willing to do this. Then the island is suddenly under seige, and a wicked man plans to use the island’s magical creatures to make money. So it falls to the children to save themselves and their new friends. Will they be able to do it?

Eva Ibbotson, Austrian-born British novelist, wrote both children’s novels as well as novels for adults (and young adults). Most of her children’s books feature magical or supernatural creatures, but presented in a fun and likeable rather than scary way. Themes related to nature–its relentless destruction by human beings are part of some of the books as is the theme of everyone, however different, needing/being entitled to a home where they can be secure, something that reflects her own experiences having had to flee the Nazi regime, and also her views on experiments on animals (having trained as a physiologist). I’ve read a few of her children’s books earlier including Not Just a Witch, The Great Ghost Rescue (review here), and Dial-a-Ghost (review here) all of which I enjoyed very much–while they do go into more serious themes, they are still enjoyable and fun. If this one is on the same lines, I’m sure I will enjoy this very much too.

Have you read this one? How did you like it? What about Eva Ibbotson’s other books? Any favourites among these? Any others on similar lines (likeable ghosts)? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Info on the book is from Goodreads (here) and Wikipedia (here), and on the author from Wikipedia (here). [The wikipedia link on the book has a full summary so I think perhaps you should avoid that unless you’ve read the book].

8 thoughts on “Shelf Control #75: Monster Mission by Eva Ibbotson

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