Friday, October 22, 2010

Sadness: Eva Ibbotson

It was with terrible sadness that I read the news that Eva Ibbotson died yesterday.

The Star of KazanI discovered Ibbotson as a new school librarian and wondered why I had not found her earlier. I inhaled her ghost stories including The Great Ghost Rescue, The Haunting of Granite Falls, and Dial-a-Ghost  which are wicked-funny as her displaced spirits do their best to survive in a modern world that really has no time for apparitions.   Her novels The Star of Kazan and Journey to the River Sea have a heart-felt charm and elegance that are timeless.

Dial-a-GhostMagic and fantasy overlay Island of the Aunts, The Secret of Platform 13 and Which Witch.  The pairing of her stories with the cover art by  Kevin Hawkes was an inspired choice.

Ellen Potter's The Kneebone Boy and Suzanne Selfors's novels  continue of the tradition of "magical whimsy" that Ibbotson did so well.

I never read an Ibbotson novel that I didn't love.The closest I've ever come, as an adult, to recreating that time of reading "unconscious delight" that I knew as a child was when I was reading her works.

Reading Ibbotson is like taking a vacation to a time and world apart. Luckily I have still not read them all. I have many more trips to look forward to.

8 comments:

Madigan McGillicuddy said...

Yes, such sad, sad news. I loved The Secret of Platform 13 (and still recommend it to Harry Potter fans, all the time) and so many of her other works.

Camille said...

MM - I agree. She was just wonderful. The descriptions of food in Star of Kazan and literally mouthwatering.

The Library Lady said...

I've loved her books too.
Someone who's on the Maud Hart Lovelace listserv I've been on for years sent us a link to a marvelous piece in the Manchester Guardian she wrote several years ago about what libraries had done for her. It might have made a good book itself!

Camille said...

LL- what a fantastic article! Thank you so much for sharing it.

Andrea said...

I just recently discovered Eva Ibbotson myself, and I have been thoroughly delighted by her books. I'm currently reading The Dragonfly Pool (another one with Kevin Hawkes cover art), and it's just darling so far.

I'm sad to hear of her passing. Thanks for a great post.

Camille said...

Andrea- I have not read The Dragonfly Pool yet. I'm glad I still have more of her books to discover. Her books for teens/grownups have a nostalgic sweetness and that same canny humor. I have many of those still to read too.

Anonymous said...

The Mental Floss blog linked to her obit in the NY Times. Last paragraph is hysterical:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/books/28ibbotson.html

Camille said...

@anonymous. The last paragraph: Good gad!