Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson

Dragonfly Pool

Written by Eva Ibbotson

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A wonderful, magical adventure spins out of a school story with a difference. Tally doesn’t want to leave her father and her aunts and go away to boarding school. But Delderton Hall is a very special school with interesting staff and pupils and loads of scope for imagination and creativity. Tally organises a trip to the Kingdom of Bergania where she befriends the prince and soon finds herself swept up in a thrilling and dangerous adventure.

The Lovereading comment:

Be prepared to be swept away on a truly great war-time adventure by one of the greatest children’s authors of our time. Meet Tally, who is sent away because of the war to the depths of Devon to an anything but ordinary boarding school. In fact, it’s such an extraordinary place that anything can happen and it does. In fact way more than she bargained for – survival and friendship are tested to the absolute limit and beyond. This is a modern classic in the making with all the hallmarks of prize winner written all over it.


Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson

Tally Hamilton is furious to hear she is being sent from London to a horrid, stuffy boarding school in the countryside. And all because of the stupid war. But Delderton Hall is a more interesting place than Tally ever imagined, and an exciting school trip to the beautiful and luscious kingdom of Bergania whisks Tally into an unexpected adventure.


‘This is a tale as delicate and buoyant as anything filmed by Alexandra Korda, blending comedy, history and tragedy with an irresistible wit and verve. Underlying Ibbotson’s liberal, liberating plot line are profound questions about education, the price of being different, and the different kinds of prison that all individuals have taken care not to find themselves trapped in’. The Times

‘A new book by Eva always lifts the spirits. She understands how children might be inspired and nourished, and she delights in nature, friendship, honesty and liberty’. The Sunday Times

‘Unmissable’ Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times

‘(Eva) has managed to combine at least three traditions, braiding together with delicacy and skill a school story, a war story and Ruritanian adventure into a funny, moving and uplifting tale which is sparkingly written and full of excitement’. Adele Geras for the Guardian

‘Ibbotson is a sublime storyteller and this funny and exciting adventure skilfully tackles issues if freedom and individuality.’ Daily Mail

‘A treat’. The Daily Express

About the Author

Eva Ibbotson

Born in Vienna, Eva Ibbotson came to England as a small girl. She spent much of her adult life in Newcastle upon Tyne. When her husband was alive he bred snails in the garage; they also kept fish and had a small and very hairy dog. Eva had four grown-up children and seven grandchildren. She wrote for both adults and children. Which Witch was runner-up for the Carnegie Medal and The Secret of Platform 13 was shortlisted for the Smarties Prize. Journey to the River Sea won the Smarties Book Prize Gold Award, was runner-up for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year and the Guardian Fiction Award, and was also shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

Eva's books for older readers (12+) include: The Morning Gift, A Song for Summer, The Secret Countess, A Company of Swans and Magic Flutes. Her books for younger readers (9+) include: The Dragonfly Pool, Journey to the River Sea and The Star of Kazan.

And for even younger readers (7+): Which Witch, Dial a Ghost, Not just a Witch, Monster Mission, The Beasts of Clawstone Castle, The secret of Platform 13, The Great Ghost rescue and The Haunting of Hiram.

Eva's final novel that she completed prior to her death at the age of 85 in 2010 is called One Dog and his Boy.

Eva Ibbotson on writing:
"I started to scribble stories when I was about seven years old and I just carried on so I became a writer gradually. I didn't try to get anything published until I was quite grown-up. I write at my mother's old desk, looking out on to a leafy street, and I rewrite what I have written again and again until I get the words the way I want them (most of my pages have been through eight drafts or so). It's my belief that one should be in the same place each day, so that if an idea is hovering it knows where to find you. Ideas can come from places one has seen or conversations one has overheard - or just from nowhere! Being an author can be lonely, difficult and frustrating, but there is nothing else I'd rather be."

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Book Info


400 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Eva Ibbotson
More books by Eva Ibbotson


Pan Macmillan

Publication date

3rd April 2009




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