Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quick Post for Today

The past few weeks have been quite busy, from preparing our science programs to the everyday tasks of storytime prep and reference work, I haven't been able to post to the blog. I still don't have time for a full review (I've been reading books for Capitol Choices, which I will save for future posts), but I did want to tell you about Eva Ibbotson's latest book.

Eva Ibbotson is one of my all-time favorite authors. She combines humor, adventure, and atmosphere in ways that are rarely unmatched in children's literature. While she is known for her stories involving ghosts and witches, she also shines in historical fiction that is beloved by children and critics alive (which is not easy to do when you write historical fiction). Having brilliantly evoked turn of the century Vienna in The Star of Kazan and early 1900s Brazil in Journey to the River Sea, Ibbotson creates a rich atmosphere of humor, adventure, and tension in her World War II era novel, The Dragonfly Pool.

Shifting between an unorthodox British boarding school and a fictitious monarchial country threatened by the Nazis, Ibbotson delivers her customary clever (but not precious) humor and excitement. I won't give too much away, but I will say that Ibbotson fans will be delighted, and newcomers to her work will want to gobble up her other books. Definitely one of the delights of the 2008-09 publishing year (don't look for it for the Newbery, since Ibbotson is a British author).

Coming up: look for a post highlighting picture books for Hispanic Heritage month and a fabulous children's biography of Mark Twain by Sid Fleischman. Fleischman's Houdini biography was a trip, and The Trouble Begins at 8 is proving to be just as fun.

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