Eva Ibbotson Dies: Sharing a Favorite Book

I just read Eva Ibbotson’s obituary in Publisher’s Weekly.

This is a huge loss. Ibbotson is one of my favorite authors, not because I love every book she wrote or, honestly, because I’ve read every book she wrote. She’s one of my favorites, because one of the books she wrote falls into what I consider the as-perfect-a-book-as-you’re-ever-going-to-read-outside-Plato’s-cave category.

Island of the Aunts

I’m not going to review this book. I am going to tell you only that it is a beautiful blend of mystery, magical creatures, quirky Dahl-esque old ladies, previously unwanted children, a definitely-NOT-deserted island, and humor.  And then I am going to give away a copy. Because I’m not loaning out the one on my shelf!

If you’d like a chance to win a copy, leave a comment and tell me what magical creature you’d most want to be stuck on an island with. And, remember, you have to take CARE of that creature.

I’ll enjoy all your entries, then, oh…let’s say Wednesday the 27th, I’ll draw one random winner’s name out of the pot. Meanwhile, let’s all celebrate the magical gift Ms. Ibbotson has given to children (and grown-ups!) everywhere.


  1. I would choose a fairy so we could dance & feast forever – which would be helpful on a deserted island.

    I’ve never read Ibbotson so even if I don’t win, I’m going to buy one of her books!!!!!


  2. Terri C. says:

    I would love to have one or more of Ann McCaffrey’s fire lizards. Any color would be fine 🙂


    • beckylevine says:

      Terri, I always liked the brown ones myself–less temperamental I thought, more “cuddly” if you can use that word to describe ANY fire lizard!

      And you’ll have to chop up a LOT of fish to keep those lizards fed. 🙂


  3. nrhatch says:

    I’ve always wanted to fly, so I’d like to share the island with a flying dragon . . . that forages for its own food. 🙂

    I’ll post this to FB and spread the word.


  4. Eva will be missed but her wonderful books will live on!


  5. Oh, Becky, I’m so sad to hear this! She was a terrific writer, and in it for the long haul.

    I won’t enter since I don’t want to make you fork out a lot of $$ for overseas postage, but But I’m going to vote for the Eagle of Gwernaby, that ancient animal who knows the words that control the winds and the seas and the sky. (And who might just be able to blow me back home again.)


    • beckylevine says:

      Well, I’m not sure if you’re not entering or not. I just sent an email to Amazon UK–seems like I could order the book from there & have them send it along to you! Checking it out. And I have never heard of your Eagle, but I think it would fit beautifully into this book. Just know, you may be responsible for helping it build its nest on a very high aerie!


  6. Radhika says:

    O my god Becky, I am heartbroken to hear this. She is one of my favourite writers as well and I kept hoping for just one more new book of hers to extend the magic. Still, if anyone can find peace in the hereafter I am sure it will be Eva. She will be missed.



    • beckylevine says:

      She will. I’m very grateful that she left us her books, though. I’ll enter you in the contest–but is there a magical creature you’d care to care for?! 🙂


  7. Cathe Olson says:

    I’ve only read a couple of Ibbotson’s books . . . I actually didn’t know she had so many and I haven’t read Island of the Aunts so I’d love to win this.

    I’m having trouble thinking of a mythical creature that I’d want to be on an island with. I just finished Cornielia Funke’s ‘Reckless’ and all the fairy creatures were so awful and then Rowling’s dementors came into my mind . . . they are one of the scariest creatures I’ve read about. I guess they’d be the ones I’d least want to be on an island with . . . does that count?


    • beckylevine says:

      Cathe, it definitely counts. You can help protect all the other creatures FROM the dementors. 🙂


  8. Kathleen Trail says:

    I think I might have to stick with Madeleine L’Engle’s Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who or Mrs. Which since “A Wrinkle in Time” was my first wonderful foray into a fantastical literary world. I’m pretty sure it was Mrs. Which who gave up becoming a star to fight the darkness, so I think she’d be good protection to have around. Plus she’d probably take care of herself (and maybe even me too)!


    • beckylevine says:

      Kathleen, I think this could be very cool. Plus I’d be curious to see how those ladies mesh (or don’t!) with the aunts. 🙂


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