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Island of the Aunts Paperback – September 10, 2001


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Island of the Aunts + The Secret of Platform 13 + Which Witch?
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Paperback: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (September 10, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142300497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142300497
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Three aging aunts who need help caring for their magical animals resort to kidnapping suitable candidates. PW wrote, "The author's exquisite sense of humor plus an imaginative and memorable cast of characters make this a rollicking escapade." Ages 8-12.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-It isn't easy taking care of an entire island and its needy, sometimes magical inhabitants and visitors, so the caregivers, Aunts Myrtle, Etta, and Coral, decide to kidnap three children from London to help them with such tasks as cleaning mermaids who were caught in an oil slick and coaxing an egg-bound boobrie to lay its enormous eggs. Two of the children, Fabio and Minette, turn out to be enthusiastic workers who grow to love the island and their charges, but Lambert Sprott is a cell-phone-addicted brat. In fact, it is Lambert's nefarious father who, in rescuing his son, makes a near-successful attempt to exploit the isle's magical creatures for his own gain. The tone of this book is as no-nonsense as stern but kind Aunt Etta. No mercy is shown to self-obsessed, environment-polluting grown-ups and nasty, ill-behaved children, but sanctimony is held at bay by the dry humor that permeates the story. The plunder of the sanctuary by Mr. Sprott and his crew is filled with scenes of real menace and suspense-readers will not be able to put the book down until they know for sure that all the island's inhabitants are safe and sound. The 14 black-and-white illustrations add quiet charm and humor. A fine choice for fantasy lovers, especially fans of E. Nesbit, Edward Eager, and Jane Langton.
Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to ages 14-16.
Claire Woods
This story is sweet and hilarious, dripping with suspense, full of imagination and memorable characters.
microjoe
I read this book with my 8-year old daughter, and we both enjoyed it thoroughly!
J. Kuntze

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sheila L. Beaumont VINE VOICE on October 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Etta, Coral and Myrtle are three eccentric aunts who dwell on an island where they take care of the creatures who live there, including some very unusual ones: selkies, a boobrie (a sort of cousin of the dodo), mermaids, and a stoorworm (an Icelandic wingless dragon). Since the aunts are getting old, they need some younger people to help out and take over when they're gone, so they decide to kidnap, or "choose," three children who are unappreciated by their families. As usual with Eva Ibbotson's books, the story is filled with idiosyncratic characters, likable and unlikable (and the latter, of course, are hilariously obnoxious!). There's a kraken who's not at all like the usual sea monster; he's the Soul of the Sea, who patrols the ocean with his Healing Hum, the Song of the Sea. This is one of Ms. Ibbotson's best (and they're all very good!). Note: This was originally published in the U.K. under the title "Monster Mission."
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Island of the Aunts is an imaginative story of an Island that not only is the habitat for normal gulls, seals and dolphins, but also selkies, mermaids and wingless dragons, not to mention a couple of ghosts. There are five aunts who originally cared for these creatures, but one of them went to foreign countries to stop people from eating rare animals, and the other was a snotty stuck-up sister who went and got filthy rich by marrying a man with three types of toilet refreshener in his bathroom. Now there are only three aunts still remaining on the island and if you want to know what happens to these aunts on the endless journey to keep the island a secret and find worthy children to watch over the island when the aunts die, read this beautifully written story Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson.
If you have read this book already and enjoyed it then two other books similar to this one also by Eva Ibbotson are Which Witch and The Secret of Platform Thirteen.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By microjoe TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before I review the book, I wanted to comment on something. As you may have read from other reviewers, this book is identical in text/content to another book called "Monster Mission" from the same author. Please don't blame the author for this, as the problem lies with two different publishers both owning rights to print the book. (Puffin, and Macmillan) The book by one publisher has a different title and different cover art but it is the same book, word for word. This happened to another Ibbotson book "The Haunting of Hiram C. Hopgood" and "The Haunting of Granite Falls", are identical as well. To make it more confusing, I bought a book before these US releases, "The Haunting of Hiram" in Canada, and it is also the same book with yet another cover and title.

As long as you know BEFORE you buy, it's OK since you can pick which cover art you prefer. I happen to like the Macmillan cover more than the Puffin cover on both books myself, but at least I could choose. The down side of all this, is that I think that buyers are hesitant to rush to buy a new Ibbotson book until they learn more about is, as they are afraid it may duplicate a book they have. This gets harder when you are buying for someone else.

Now, the book that is for sale on this page "Island of the Aunts", is a great story. It is about three aunts that live on a magical island, whose mission is to care for the magic and mythical creatures of the world, mending them when they are hurt and that sort of thing. As they are getting up in years, they decide they need someone to take their place and it will take some time to train them. They know that it must be children, as they could understand the magic better and believe what they are seeing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
This was such a fantastic book, that if you decided not to read it, you would be missing a great treat. From the minute that I picked up this book, I could not set it down! It is so well written, and there are some hilarious parts that will make you cry with laughter. The author describes each character so well, and each one's personality comes across perfectly. Ibbotson creates a mystical world of mermaids, talking seals, large whales ("krakens"), huge birds, friendly giant swamp worms, and a great assortment of other creatures. If you like Harry Potter, this book is just for you, and if you don't like Harry Potter, you should try reading this book anyway. I bet you'll like it! You should also try reading "Which Witch" and "The Secret of Platform 13" by the same author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
At first, I chose this book because I have read and enjoyed all of Eva Ibboton's books so far. Once again, I was not dissapointed. Island of the Aunts is about three aunts who take care of all kinds of mystical sea creatures. However, they are growing older and need some people to take care of their "residents" when they are gone. With this in mind, they kidnap two children that are named Minette and Fabio. Minette and Fabio, are two extremely wonderful children that come from horrible families. At first, Minette and Fabio are frightened, but they soon grow to love and adore the aunts. Later, all the animals as well as the aunts are in danger for horrible people who are trying to find them, and it is up to them to save the aunts and creatures they love.
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