All Hal ever wanted was a dog. Then his wealthy parents discover Easy Pets, a convenient dog-rental agency. Fleck arrives on Hal's birthday, but when Hal discovers that Fleck must be returned, he runs away-along with a group of joyfully escapees from Easy Pets.
Eva Ibbotson’s charming and warm-hearted tale, A Secret Countess was originally published as A Countess Below Stairs. Anna, a young countess, has lived in the glittering city of St Petersburg all her life in an ice-blue palace overlooking the River Neva. But when revolution tears Russia apart, her now-penniless family is forced to flee to England. Armed with an out-of-date book on housekeeping, Anna determines to become a housemaid and she finds work at the Earl of Westerholme’s crumbling but magnificent mansion. The staff and the family are sure there is something not quite right about their new maid — but she soon wins them over with her warmth and dedication. Then the young Earl returns home from the war — and Anna falls hopelessly in love. But they can never be together: Rupert is engaged to the snobbish and awful Muriel — and anyway, Anna is only a servant. Or so everybody thinks…
As long as stories and people have existed, parents have been telling cautionary tales to their children, warning them what might happen to them if they are nasty, reckless or just bad-mannered. But these are cautionary tales with a difference. True, the offenders have the usual vices — they are rude, snobbish, disobedient, aggressive and bossy — and are bound to come a cropper. But the way in which they get their comeuppance is ingenious in every case, and always has something to do with an imaginary monster. In these adventures you will be introduced to a Frid, a Kraken, a Boobrie and several other creatures populating Eva Ibbotson’s fertile mind.
Eva Ibbotson’s magical novel; set in that most poignant of all times and places, Vienna before the First World War. Susanna’s dress shop stands in the delightful Madensky Square and is the very hub and heart of life. Susanna sympathizes with her neighbours, watches over Signi, the wretched, orphaned child prodigy, and with her infallible eye for dress, turns an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. Of all the colourful characters in Madensky Square, only her dear friend Alice has the slightest inkling that Susanna hides more than one secret. This hidden life full of passion and anguish gradually unfolds in a city of romance, music and gossip. ’Sunshine and shadows, laughter and tears… the grace and gaiety of a Viennese waltz’ Sunday Telegraph
A collection of short stories by the author of reveals the writer’s ability to write funny and erudite historical fiction.
Known for her neatly fashioned romance fiction, Ibbotson (Madensky Square) here collects 19 decorous stories of love gained and lost. With settings that range from the early 1990s to the present day, they generally feature surprise endings, some of them sadly contrived. In the title story, Max, a lawyer and confirmed bachelor in pre-WW I Vienna, attends the opera, where Helene, a singer of Wagnerian heft, is hurt in an onstage accident. She hires Max to file suit; they marry; later, Max takes a mistress. On his wife’s death he is free to marry his paramour, but Helene’s will dictates otherwise — she knew that forbidden fruit is sweetest. The London grocer in “Doushenka” is obsessed by Russia. Traveling to St. Petersburg, he falls in love with a young ballerina, but their relationship is ended by his sacrifice on her behalf, and for the rest of his life he must be content with the memories of his Great Love. A Great Love is the essential element in these old-fashioned tales, of which “Sidi” is the most celebratory-and blatantly sentimental. Eschewing the angst and alienation discussed in much contemporary fiction, Ibbotson offers leisurely details of a more genteel era whose passing she obviously laments. Her stories, however, are oversweet and ultimately cloying.
Weekly ballet classes are Harriet Morton's only escape from her intolerably dull life. So when she is chosen to join a corps de ballet which is setting off on a tour of the Amazon, she leaps at the chance to run away for good.
Performing in the grand opera houses is everything Harriet dreamed of, and falling in love with an aristocratic exile makes her new life complete. Swept away by it all, she is unaware that her father and intended fiancé have begun to track her down…
Renowned literary great Eva Ibbotson delivers a final novel in her classic, much-loved style. A previously unpublished work from this favorite author, follows a family of yetis who are forced, by tourism, to leave their home in the Himalayas and make their way across Europe to a possible new home. Siblings Con and Ellen shepherd the yetis along their eventful journey, with the help of Perry, a good-natured truck driver. Through a mountain rescue in the Alps and a bullfight in Spain, the yetis at last find their way to an ancestral estate in England — only to come upon a club of voracious hunters who have set their sights on the most exotic prey of all: the Abominable Snowmen.
Briskly funny and full of incident, * is vintage Ibbotson. With unforgettable characters and thoughtful messages about the environment and advocacy, it's a generous last gift to her many devoted fans.
The Dial-a-Ghost Agency finds good homes for ghosts. And Fulton and Frieda Snodde-Brittle are looking for a few frightening ghosts to ‘accidentally’ scare their young cousin and heir, Oliver, to death. The ladies at the Dial-a-Ghost Agency have the perfect match: the Shriekers, two bloodstained and bickering horrors. But thanks to a mix-up at the agency, the Wilkinsons, a kind family of ghosts, arrive instead. Can they put a stop to the Snodde-Brittles’ schemes before it’s too late?
Eva Ibbotson writes for both adults and children. Born in Vienna, she now lives in the north of England. She has a daughter and three sons, now grown up, who showed her that children like to read about ghosts, wizards and witches ‘because they are just like people but madder and more interesting’. She has written seven other ghostly adventures for children. was runner-up for the Carnegie Medal and was shortlisted for the Smarties Prize. Her novel won the Smarties Prize and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.
‘You’ll love this chain-rattlingly, blood-oozingly hilarious story’
‘Eva Ibbotson is on top form with this highly entertaining story’
‘Warm, funny, scary and exciting — this is an absolute gem of a book’
In a fragile world on the brink of World War II, lovely young Englishwoman Ellen Carr takes a job as a housemother at an unorthodox boarding school in Vienna that specializes in music, drama, and dance. Ellen simply wants to cook beautiful food in the homeland of her surrogate grandmother, who had enchanted her with stories of growing up in the countryside of Austria.
What she finds when she reaches the Hallendorf School in Vienna is a world that is magically unconventional-and completely out of control. The children are delightful, but wild; the teachers are beleaguered and at their wits’ end; and the buildings are a shambles. In short, the whole place is in desperate need of Ellen’s attention.
Ellen seems to have been born to nurture all of Hallendorf; soon everyone from Leon the lonely young musical prodigy to harassed headmaster Mr. Bennet to Marek the mysterious groundsman depends on Ellen for-well, everything. And in providing all of them with whatever they need, especially Marek, for whom she develops a special attachment, Ellen is happier than she’s ever been.
But what happens when the menace of Hitler’s reign reaches the idyllic world of the Hallendorf School gives this romantic, intelligent tale a combination of charm and power that only the very best storytellers can achieve.
Eva Ibbotson was born into a literary family in Vienna and came to England as a small child before World War II. She has written numerous award-winning novels for both children and adults, including A Countess Below Stairs and The Morning Gift. She currently lives in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England.
For excitement-hungry orphan Ivo, a mission to save Princess Mirella from the dreaded Ogre of Oglefort is a dream come true. Together with a hag, a wizard, and a troll, Ivo sets out, ready for adventure. But when they get to the ogre’s castle, the rescuers are in for a surprise: the princess doesn’t need saving, but the depressed ogre does! It’s a warmhearted, hilarious romp in the tradition of Roald Dahl, with enough creepy magic, ghosts, and laughs to make even the saddest ogre smile.
In 1896, in a pilgrim church in the Alps, an abandoned baby girl is found by a cook and a housemaid. They take her home, and Annika grows up in the servants’ quarters of a house belonging to three eccentric Viennese professors. She is happy there but dreams of the day when her real mother will come to find her. And sure enough, one day a glamorous stranger arrives at the door. After years of guilt and searching, Annika’s mother has come to claim her daughter, who is in fact a Prussian aristocrat and whose true home is a great castle. But at crumbling, spooky Spittal Annika discovers that all is not as it seems in the lives of her new-found family… Eva Ibbotson’s hugely entertaining story is a timeless classic for readers young and old.
‘I want you to change the next wicked person you see into a tiger,’ demanded Lionel. ‘A very large tiger’
Heckie is not just a witch — she’s an animal witch, who wants to make the world a better place by transforming evil people into harmless animals, using her incredible Toe of Transformation and her awesome Knuckle of Power. But when slimy Lionel Knapsack charms Heckie, her magic begins to take a darker direction. Her friends, including a cheese wizard and a boy called Daniel, must come to the rescue…
‘We must kidnap some children,’ announced Aunt Etta. ‘Young, strong ones. It will be dangerous, but it must be done.’
Three children are stolen and taken to a bizarre island, which is home to some extraordinary creatures — including mermaids, selkies and the legendary kraken. The island is the base for a very mysterious mission. But the magical adventure is cut short when the island is suddenly under siege. Can the children save themselves and their new friends?
‘Funny, gripping, charming and completely irresistible’
‘Engaging, funny and opinionated. A treat not to be missed’
‘Crazy characters and wildly funny adventures make Eva Ibbotson’s seventh fantasy novel for children another certain winner’
As a bloodcurlingly fearsome ghost, Humphrey the Horrible is a failure. He’s not horrible at all. Instead of being ghastly and skeletal, he’s pink and fluffy, like a summer cloud. He longs to be like his brother, who’s a Screaming Skull. Or his father, who has stumps for legs and a sword through his chest. Or even his cousins who are like vampire bats. Poor Humphrey, though, can’t scare anyone. But when the ghosts are in danger, it’s clever Humphrey who comes up with a rescue plan…
A beloved bestselling author returns to paper!
At first Tally doesn’t want to go to the boarding school called Delderton. But soon she discovers that it’s a wonderful place, where freedom and selfexpression are valued. Enamored of Bergania, a erene and peaceful country led by a noble king, Tally organizes a dance troupe to attend the international folk dancing festival there. There she meets Karil, the crown prince, who wants nothing more than ordinary friends. But when Karil’s father is assassinated, it’s up to Tally and her friends to help Karil escape the Nazis and the bleak future he’s inherited.
Sent in 1910 to live with distant relatives who own a rubber plantation along the Amazon River, English orphan Maia is excited. She believes she is in for brightly colored macaws, enormous butterflies, and “curtains of sweetly scented orchids trailing from the trees.” Her British classmates warn her of man-eating alligators and wild, murderous Indians. Unfortunately, no one cautions Maia about her nasty, xenophobic cousins, who douse the house in bug spray and forbid her from venturing beyond their coiffed compound. Maia, however, is resourceful enough to find herself smack in the middle of more excitement than she ever imagined, from a mysterious “Indian” with an inheritance, to an itinerant actor dreading his impending adolescence, to a remarkable journey down the Amazon in search of the legendary giant sloth.
When Ellen Carr abandons grey, dreary London to become housekeeper at an experimental school in Austria, she finds her destiny. Swept into an idyllic world of mountains, music, eccentric teachers and wayward children, Ellen brings order and joy to all around her. But it’s the handsome, mysterious gardener, Marek, who intrigues her — Marek, who has a dangerous secret. As Hitler’s troops spread across Europe, Ellen has promises to keep, even if they mean she must sacrifice her future happiness… A Song for Summer is an unforgettable love story from Eva Ibbotson, the award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea and The Star of Kazan.
Spring, 1922 — Tessa is a beautiful, tiny, dark-eyed princess — who’s given up her duties to follow her heart, working for nothing backstage at the Viennese opera. No one there knows who she really is, or that a fairytale castle is missing its princess, and Tessa is determined to keep it that way. But secret lives can be complicated. When a wealthy, handsome Englishman discovers this bewitching urchin backstage, Tessa’s two lives collide — and in escaping her inheritance, she finds her destiny…