Wednesday, the 14th of October, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and 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–what its about, why you want to read it, where you got it and such. If you participate, 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 as well!

Eva Ibbotson is an author I discovered only after joining Shelfari, and so far I’ve read a few of her children’s books which are fun ones featuring ghosts and monsters and such but they are usually nice while the two-legged humans are the true monsters. In them she also brings up themes like everyone needing to have a home, a place where they can live without fear, ones that are probably close to her heart with his own background of having to escape the Nazi regime with her mother. Yesterday in fact I picked up another of hers Monster Mission (which I’ve featured in an earlier shelf control post-here), which seemed a good spooky read for the season. And so when I thought of this post, I was reminded of another of hers waiting on my TBR, one from a slightly different genre. This is The Dragonfly Pool.

First published in 2008, this one tells the story of Tally Hamilton, a young girl who does not wish to go to boarding school and is furious that this is to be so because of the war. But though she is being sent from London to the countryside, Delderton Hall is not an ordinary boarding school but a gateway to adventure. Here she meets the mysterious Matteo who speaks five languages and belongs to the troubled kingdom of Bergania. Tally finds herself organising a school trip to Bergania. There Prince Karil who hates his life at the palace has only one place where he comes to for comfort–the dragonfly pool in the forests of Bergania. At the pool the two meet, and find themselves in an adventure that involves saving the kingdom itself!

What fun this sounds. Not set in the fantasy worlds (o fantasy versions of our world) that Ibbotson’s others that I’ve read so far are set in, still the school Delderton Hall, described as ‘eccentric, crazy and inspiring’ which sounds like a very interesting place indeed. As does the whole plot of travelling to an interesting new country, and falling into the adventure of a lifetime. I’m certainly looking forward to reading this one.

Have you read Ibbotson before, this one or her monster ones, or even her romances for older reads? Which ones and how did you find them? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Cover image as always is from Goodreads (here) and the book description from Goodreads and the blurb at the back of my copy (Macmillan, 2008).

Lisa’s pick this week is also an interesting but weird sounding one: Outside the Dog Museum by Jonathan Carroll (find her post here).


7 thoughts on “Shelf Control #109: The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson #Childrensfiction

  1. I seem to remember reading that this school was based on Dartington Hall School in Devon which she attended (and enjoyed) and which focused on the arts. It’s one of four Ibbotson books I have to read aimed at an older age range of children and which I hope to get round to soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As do I. I love her children’s books as well–Monster Mission which I’m reading now is more or less a commentary on the world (many of the issues that you mentioned in your last post), in the guise of a book of children and ‘monsters’.

      Liked by 1 person

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