Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

Journey to the River Sea

Written by Eva Ibbotson

11+ readers   9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Chosen by Anne Fine. A charming and magical adventure story that is full of wisdom, warmth and understanding. Orphaned Maia is sent off to stay with her relatives far, far away in the heart of the Amazon jungle. She’s excited by the prospect of living such an inspiring place but soon finds that life with her twin cousins Gwendolyn and Beatrice is torture.

How Maia escapes and thrives with the help of her redoubtable governess is a glorious drama against a magical background.

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.

Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.


Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

It's 1910 and Maia, orphaned at 13, travels from England to start a new life with distant relatives in Manaus, hundreds of miles up the Amazon. She befriends Finn, a mysterious Indian boy who lives with the local Indians. But they are forced to flee up river when his past life catches up with him.

From the author on how this book came about:
‘I had always wanted to write a straight adventure story, but the kind where the adventures were about travelling and finding new ways to live and not being eaten by crocodiles (which is sad but probably not very interesting). Maia, the heroine, is exactly the sort of person I wanted to be but wasn't: brave and resourceful but also sensitive and kind.’


'Bubbly and fantastical... driven by humour and warmth, Journey To The River Sea has an irresistible charm.' Guardian

'Funny, wise and true.' Philip Pullman

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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Eva Ibbotson
More books by Eva Ibbotson


Pan Macmillan

Publication date

10th May 2002




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