Journey to the River Sea

Journey to the River Sea

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Overview

Sent with her governess to live with the dreadful Carter family in exotic Brazil in 1910, Maia endures many hardships before fulfilling her dream of exploring the Amazon River.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756915520
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/2003
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Eva Ibbotson, born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner, was an Austrian-born British novelist, known for her children's books. Some of her novels for adults have been successfully reissued for the young adult market in recent years. For the historical novel Journey to the River Sea, she won the Smarties Prize in category 9-11 years, garnered unusual commendation as runner up for the Guardian Prize, and made the Carnegie, Whitbread, and Blue Peter shortlists. She was a finalist for the 2010 Guardian Prize at the time of her death. Her last book, The Abominables, was one of eight books on the longlist for the same award in 2012.

From the author:
Journey to the River Sea was written quite quickly but it spent years and years inside my head. It started with my hearing about this fabled opera house a thousand miles from the mouth of the Amazon and I thought it was one of the strangest things I had ever heard - I meant to go there and see for myself but then I realised it would mean going back into the past because everything is quite different there now. So I went on reading and dreaming and researching and then one day, I picked up my pen to start a new book about witches and ghosts and found I had started to write an adventure storyset in the jungle.

Read an Excerpt

THE BOOKS OF EVA IBBOTSON

 

INTRODUCTION

Ghosts and hags, wizards and banshees, mermaids and mistmakers—allare part of the magical worlds that Eva Ibbotson creates in her fantasy books for children. Even her more realistic stories are set in exotic places like the Amazon River in South America, where the natural world creates a mystical sense of wonder. Ibbotson introduces us to an array of fascinating characters and creatures: some from real life, some from folklore and mythology, and some completely original. What readers discover in her books is a love for the natural world in all its forms, plus fast-moving plots that emphasize the importance of showing kindness to others and never being quick to judge those who are different from ourselves. Humor plays an important role in her stories, for they are meant to be entertaining above all. Yet long after the last page is turned, the deeper meanings that emerge from these rollicking adventures linger in the reader's mind.

About the Books

Dial-a-Ghost

Miss Pringle and Mrs. Mannering run an agency that matches ghosts who need a home with people who want their dwellings haunted. And they do a very good job of it... until an error by their hapless office boy mixes up two assignments. This mistake is disconcerting to the nuns who requested a family of quiet ghosts for their old country abbey and end up with the Shriekers, a couple who scream constantly and terrorize the livestock. But it's a very fortunate error for Oliver, a small boy whose scheming cousins hoped the Shriekers would frighten him to death so that they could take over his inheritance, a huge manor house. When the gentle Wilkinson family arrives at Helton Hall instead, they immediately befriend the boy, and he is delighted to have such kindly ghost company. They decide to help Oliver escape the clutches of his evil cousins, Fulton and Frieda Snodde-Brittle. But Fulton has more wicked plans of his own. Dial-a-Ghost is a fast-moving romp through a plot with more twists and turns than you can count and a cast of characters who are loving and heartless, comfortable and cruel, charming and chilling, whether they are made of flesh or ectoplasm.

Island of the Aunts

Etta, Coral, and Myrtle tend to the needs of a number of remarkable creatures on the Island, a place forgotten by most people—and they are very happy to keep it that way. But the three sisters are getting on in years and need help caring for their assortment of seals, fish, mermaids, birds, and other sea creatures. So they decide to kidnap some children to be their assistants. Each poses as a hired "aunt" from a London agency, and soon they return to the Island with their stolen charges. Minette and Fabio, confused at first, grow to love the Island and its many unusual creatures. They keep putting off their escape back to their troubled homes. But Lambert, the boy Myrtle kidnapped, is a pampered brat who refuses to believe any of the Island's inhabitants actually exist. When Lambert uses his cell phone to call his father, the whole Island way of life is threatened by Mr. Sprott's scheme to turn the place into an amusement park. He doesn't reckon, however, on the power—and anger—of the most magical creature of all, a larger-than-life spirit of the sea, the kraken.

Journey to the River Sea

Maia feels at home in the boarding school where she lives in London, in 1910. It is the only home she has known since her parents died two years earlier. When distant cousins are discovered 4,000 miles away, Maia must travel to the exotic Amazon River town of Manaus to live with them. She is accompanied on her journey by a governess, the imposing Miss Minton, who has her own secret reasons for accepting a post so far from home. They arrive in South America and soon discover that the Carters, Maia's cousins, are selfish and greedy people who isolate themselves from the wild beauty of the countryside around them. With the help of her clever governess, Maia finds moments of brief escape from their stifling home and makes friends with a strange Indian boy named Finn and a homesick child actor called Clovis. Soon she is swept up in the human intrigues and natural wonders of the world around her. As she helps her new friends to follow their dreams and desires, Maia learns what is most important to her and where her own future will lie.

The Secret of Platform 13

Hidden under Platform 13 in King's Cross Station is a gump, a secret entrance to another world. This doorway opens only for nine days every nine years. During those nine days, beings are free to come and go between our world and a magical Island, where fantastic creatures and humans live together sensibly and peacefully, shrouded from view by the hazy clouds created by lovable animals known as mistmakers. When the infant prince of the Island is kidnapped to our world by the unpleasant Mrs. Trottle, a strange band of rescuers is assembled nine years later to bring him back, and a fast-paced tale of magic, mayhem, and mistaken identity ensues. At first the rescuers are delighted to meet Ben, a sweet boy who could be the prince in spite of his lowly status in the Trottle house. But it soon becomes apparent that the real prince must be Raymond, the Trottles' rather obnoxious, spoiled son. Raymond, however, has no interest in leaving his pampered life for a mystical island. One of the rescuers, a young hag named Odge Gribble, is a tough, no-nonsense type who is determined on success. What she doesn't expect is that, in the end, she'll care much more about being a friend than a hero.

Which Witch?

Arriman is a very dark wizard, proud of his skills, but feeling bored and weary. Consulting a fortune-teller, he learns that a replacement wizard will arrive to relieve him of his duties, but he grows impatient waiting and decides that he must marry to produce an heir. The problem is finding a wife. The only wife for a wizard must be a witch, of course, but which witch? How to decide? The only way seems to be to hold a contest for the local witches. One glimpse of Arriman convinces Belladonna that she must win. But what chance does a white witch have of doing the dark magic worthy of a wizard's heart? Belladonna finds unlikely but effective allies in a foundling named Terence and his pet earthworm, Rover. Rover seems to be a powerful witch's familiar, an animal capable of inspiring very black magic. Belladonna might win. But then Madame Olympia, a skilled sorceress, arrives from London to compete, and the magical earthworm mysteriously disappears. Belladonna's chances become slim at best until events take a surprising turn that even Madame Olympia could not have predicted.

 

ABOUT EVA IBBOTSON

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in the years before World War II. Her mother was a playwright and her father a scientist, but the marriage was unhappy and they soon went their separate ways. Eva's early childhood was spent shuttling back and forth in trains across Europe, from one parent to the other. When Hitler rose to power, Eva's father went to Great Britain, and her mother, after remarriage to a Russian philosopher, soon followed him. Eva switched languages and spent the rest of her childhood in a progressive boarding school, striving to become British. After taking a degree in Physiology at London University, she went on to do research at the University of Cambridge, but she found the experiments she had to perform on living animals very distressing. The results of her experiments were "peculiar," she relates, so when a fellow student, Alan Ibbotson, suggested she could do less harm to science by leaving it and marrying him, she accepted without hesitation. The couple moved to Newcastle, in the north of England, where they raised four children and Eva began writing short stories. When the youngest son started school, she wrote her first full-length novel for children and continued to write for children and adults alternately, much to the delight of her many readers.

The National Trust
The National Trust is an organization dedicated to the preservation of the countryside, coastline, and important buildings and gardens in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This site lists interesting places to visit.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk

National Geographic
Site of the National Geographic Society. Look up maps of London and the Amazon River. Search the sea around the British Isles for places where the Island might be found.
www.nationalgeographic.com

Ghost Watch UK
An English organization that specializes in paranormal investigations. Their site includes stories and anecdotes of people's encounters with ghosts and ghostly phenomena.
www.ghostwatchuk.org

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH EVA IBBOTSON

Magical beings are central to many of your books. Have you always been interested in the supernatural?

No, curiously I was never particularly interested in the supernatural—quite the contrary. Ghost stories frightened me badly as a child, although I didn't really believe that ghosts existed. I think I began to write about ghosts and witches and magic generally to make children less afraid; to turn these beings into creatures much like us but of course able to do more interesting things. My ghosts and witches are more like underdogs, people on the fringes who need sympathy and help. And the witches in Which Witch? are based on my relatives—the nice witches anyway!

Your main characters all seem to come up against people who are more interested in money and power than in feelings and compassion. Is this a theme you consciously set out to explore in every book?

I think of my books as entertainments, a kind of present I give the reader, and any serious themes that come up are a by-product. But of course when I am creating "baddies" for the purposes of the plot, I find myself choosing people with the characteristics I dislike most—and there is nothing I despise more than financial greed and a lust for power.

Humor is an important element in most of your stories. What do you think is the role that humor plays in shaping our lives and our personalities?

I don't really know how to define humor or how to describe it; it is something you have to show. But I do know that both in my personal life and in my work I would be completely lost without humor...without the ability to turn things upside down, to extract something ridiculous out of the most solemn moment. Incidentally, when I'm writing I find humor—jokes that aren't forced or silly—by far the hardest thing to pull off.

In Journey to the River Sea you have written a more realistic story with a strong theme about the importance of nature to the human spirit. What was your inspiration for this story?

I wrote Journey to the River Sea not long after my husband died. He was a committed naturalist, someone who combined a deep knowledge of animals and plants with a spiritual outlook that had been strengthened by his war service in India and Burma. I think I felt at that time that I needed a rest from my usual fantasy stories—though goodness knows the Amazon landscape is fantastical enough in its own right! I wanted to write a story that was simple and old-fashioned and direct. But I have to say that the reasons one gives for writing anything tend to be made up afterwards. At the time you just find yourself doing it!

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. The world of nature plays an important role in Eva Ibbotson's books. Often her characters' personalities are shown through their relationship to the natural world and the way they interact with creatures in the wild. Compare the different reactions to nature of these characters: Ben and Raymond; Oliver and Fulton; Minette, Fabio, and Lambert; The Aunts (Etta, Coral, and Myrtle) and Mr. Sprott; Maia and Gwendolyn/Beatrice; Mrs. Carter and Miss Minton; Mr. Carter and Bernard Taverner.

  2. In each of these stories, children must find resources inside themselves to face difficult challenges and changes in their lives, many times without the help of adults. The author says of Maia at the beginning of Journey to the River Sea, "She was afraid...afraid in the way of someone who is alone in the world" (p.2). Which of these characters believes that he or she is alone, and how does that affect the way they face their challenges: Maia, Clovis, Finn, Minette, Fabio, Oliver, Ben, Odge Gribble, Arriman, Terence?

  3. Help can often come from unexpected sources in Ibbotson's stories. Look carefully at each of the books to see which characters or creatures are most helpful to the protagonist. Was it obvious to you as the reader that important help would come in this way? How often were you surprised by the power of the helpers? Have you had this experience in your own life, that help came from unexpected sources?

  4. Many of the evil characters in the books share certain personality traits. What do these characters have in common: Mrs. Trottle, Mr. Sprott, Fulton and Frieda Snodde-Brittle, Mr. and Mrs. Carter, Madame Olympia? What do these characters tell you about the personality traits that the author dislikes? Do you know people who exhibit these qualities?

  5. Showing kindness toward others and especially those who appear to be "different" and "strange" is a quality that is shared by many of the main characters. Discuss the ways in which Maia, Miss Minton, Ben, Belladonna, Oliver, and the Aunts demonstrate this important character trait. What is the author telling us, through these characters, about exhibiting this quality in our own lives? How can we translate this theme from exotic and fantastic settings into our everyday world?

  6. At the end of Journey to the River Sea, Miss Minton says to Mr. Murray, "Perhaps I'm mad—and the professor, too—but I think children must lead big lives...if it is in them to do so" (p. 283). What does she mean by this statement, and how do you interpret the phrase "big lives"? Which characters in the other books are capable of leading "big lives," and which of them are not? Discuss the personality traits that make it possible for children—and adults—to "lead big lives."

  7. Ibbotson says of the Carters, "...they were far too selfish to want anybody, but they needed her [Maia]" (p. 37). What is the difference between wanting and needing somebody or something? Discuss this difference between wanting and needing as you see it in the actions and feelings of Arriman, Belladonna, the Wilkinson family, Oliver, Mrs. Trottle, Ben, Nanny Brown, the Aunts, Minette and Fabio, Maia, Miss Minton, Finn, Clovis, the Carters, and other characters of your own choice. How does it affect your feelings about a character when you make this distinction?

  8. When Maia first reads about the Amazon, she encounters these words: "For whether a place is a hell or a heaven rests in yourself, and those who go with courage and an open mind may find themselves in Paradise" (p. 6). Discuss this idea with relation to the setting of each of the books. How does each character's perception of a place affect the way he or she reacts to that place? How does perception of place affect you in your own life?

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Adventure lovers will devour this one and wish that it would continue. (School Library Journal, starred review)

Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION

Ghosts and hags, wizards and banshees, mermaids and mistmakers—all are part of the magical worlds that Eva Ibbotson creates in her fantasy books for children. Even her more realistic stories are set in exotic places like the Amazon River in South America, where the natural world creates a mystical sense of wonder. Ibbotson introduces us to an array of fascinating characters and creatures: some from real life, some from folklore and mythology, and some completely original. What readers discover in her books is a love for the natural world in all its forms, plus fast-moving plots that emphasize the importance of showing kindness to others and never being quick to judge those who are different from ourselves. Humor plays an important role in her stories, for they are meant to be entertaining above all. Yet long after the last page is turned, the deeper meanings that emerge from these rollicking adventures linger in the reader's mind.

 


About the Book

Journey to the River Sea

Maia feels at home in the boarding school where she lives in London, in 1910. It is the only home she has known since her parents died two years earlier. When distant cousins are discovered 4,000 miles away, Maia must travel to the exotic Amazon River town of Manaus to live with them. She is accompanied on her journey by a governess, the imposing Miss Minton, who has her own secret reasons for accepting a post so far from home. They arrive in South America and soon discover that the Carters, Maia's cousins, are selfish and greedy people who isolate themselves from the wild beauty of the countryside around them. With the help of her clever governess, Maia finds moments of brief escape from their stifling home and makes friends with a strange Indian boy named Finn and a homesick child actor called Clovis. Soon she is swept up in the human intrigues and natural wonders of the world around her. As she helps her new friends to follow their dreams and desires, Maia learns what is most important to her and where her own future will lie.

 


ABOUT EVA IBBOTSON

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in the years before World War II. Her mother was a playwright and her father a scientist, but the marriage was unhappy and they soon went their separate ways. Eva's early childhood was spent shuttling back and forth in trains across Europe, from one parent to the other. When Hitler rose to power, Eva's father went to Great Britain, and her mother, after remarriage to a Russian philosopher, soon followed him. Eva switched languages and spent the rest of her childhood in a progressive boarding school, striving to become British. After taking a degree in Physiology at London University, she went on to do research at the University of Cambridge, but she found the experiments she had to perform on living animals very distressing. The results of her experiments were "peculiar," she relates, so when a fellow student, Alan Ibbotson, suggested she could do less harm to science by leaving it and marrying him, she accepted without hesitation. The couple moved to Newcastle, in the north of England, where they raised four children and Eva began writing short stories. When the youngest son started school, she wrote her first full-length novel for children and continued to write for children and adults alternately, much to the delight of her many readers.

 


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The National Trust
The National Trust is an organization dedicated to the preservation of the countryside, coastline, and important buildings and gardens in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This site lists interesting places to visit.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk

National Geographic
Site of the National Geographic Society. Look up maps of London and the Amazon River. Search the sea around the British Isles for places where the Island might be found.
www.nationalgeographic.com

Ghost Watch UK
An English organization that specializes in paranormal investigations. Their site includes stories and anecdotes of people's encounters with ghosts and ghostly phenomena.
www.ghostwatchuk.org

 


AN INTERVIEW WITH EVA IBBOTSON

Magical beings are central to many of your books. Have you always been interested in the supernatural?

No, curiously I was never particularly interested in the supernatural—quite the contrary. Ghost stories frightened me badly as a child, although I didn't really believe that ghosts existed. I think I began to write about ghosts and witches and magic generally to make children less afraid; to turn these beings into creatures much like us but of course able to do more interesting things. My ghosts and witches are more like underdogs, people on the fringes who need sympathy and help. And the witches in Which Witch? are based on my relatives—the nice witches anyway!

Your main characters all seem to come up against people who are more interested in money and power than in feelings and compassion. Is this a theme you consciously set out to explore in every book?

I think of my books as entertainments, a kind of present I give the reader, and any serious themes that come up are a by-product. But of course when I am creating "baddies" for the purposes of the plot, I find myself choosing people with the characteristics I dislike most—and there is nothing I despise more than financial greed and a lust for power.

Humor is an important element in most of your stories. What do you think is the role that humor plays in shaping our lives and our personalities?

I don't really know how to define humor or how to describe it; it is something you have to show. But I do know that both in my personal life and in my work I would be completely lost without humor...without the ability to turn things upside down, to extract something ridiculous out of the most solemn moment. Incidentally, when I'm writing I find humor—jokes that aren't forced or silly—by far the hardest thing to pull off.

In Journey to the River Sea you have written a more realistic story with a strong theme about the importance of nature to the human spirit. What was your inspiration for this story?

I wrote Journey to the River Sea not long after my husband died. He was a committed naturalist, someone who combined a deep knowledge of animals and plants with a spiritual outlook that had been strengthened by his war service in India and Burma. I think I felt at that time that I needed a rest from my usual fantasy stories—though goodness knows the Amazon landscape is fantastical enough in its own right! I wanted to write a story that was simple and old-fashioned and direct. But I have to say that the reasons one gives for writing anything tend to be made up afterwards. At the time you just find yourself doing it!

 


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  • The world of nature plays an important role in Eva Ibbotson's books. Often her characters' personalities are shown through their relationship to the natural world and the way they interact with creatures in the wild. Compare the different reactions to nature of these characters: Ben and Raymond; Oliver and Fulton; Minette, Fabio, and Lambert; The Aunts (Etta, Coral, and Myrtle) and Mr. Sprott; Maia and Gwendolyn/Beatrice; Mrs. Carter and Miss Minton; Mr. Carter and Bernard Taverner.
     
  • In each of these stories, children must find resources inside themselves to face difficult challenges and changes in their lives, many times without the help of adults. The author says of Maia at the beginning of Journey to the River Sea, "She was afraid...afraid in the way of someone who is alone in the world" (p.2). Which of these characters believes that he or she is alone, and how does that affect the way they face their challenges: Maia, Clovis, Finn, Minette, Fabio, Oliver, Ben, Odge Gribble, Arriman, Terence?
     
  • Help can often come from unexpected sources in Ibbotson's stories. Look carefully at each of the books to see which characters or creatures are most helpful to the protagonist. Was it obvious to you as the reader that important help would come in this way? How often were you surprised by the power of the helpers? Have you had this experience in your own life, that help came from unexpected sources?
     
  • Many of the evil characters in the books share certain personality traits. What do these characters have in common: Mrs. Trottle, Mr. Sprott, Fulton and Frieda Snodde-Brittle, Mr. and Mrs. Carter, Madame Olympia? What do these characters tell you about the personality traits that the author dislikes? Do you know people who exhibit these qualities?
     
  • Showing kindness toward others and especially those who appear to be "different" and "strange" is a quality that is shared by many of the main characters. Discuss the ways in which Maia, Miss Minton, Ben, Belladonna, Oliver, and the Aunts demonstrate this important character trait. What is the author telling us, through these characters, about exhibiting this quality in our own lives? How can we translate this theme from exotic and fantastic settings into our everyday world?
     
  • At the end of Journey to the River Sea, Miss Minton says to Mr. Murray, "Perhaps I'm mad—and the professor, too—but I think children must lead big lives...if it is in them to do so" (p. 283). What does she mean by this statement, and how do you interpret the phrase "big lives"? Which characters in the other books are capable of leading "big lives," and which of them are not? Discuss the personality traits that make it possible for children—and adults—to "lead big lives."
     
  • Ibbotson says of the Carters, "...they were far too selfish to want anybody, but they needed her [Maia]" (p. 37). What is the difference between wanting and needing somebody or something? Discuss this difference between wanting and needing as you see it in the actions and feelings of Arriman, Belladonna, the Wilkinson family, Oliver, Mrs. Trottle, Ben, Nanny Brown, the Aunts, Minette and Fabio, Maia, Miss Minton, Finn, Clovis, the Carters, and other characters of your own choice. How does it affect your feelings about a character when you make this distinction?
     
  • When Maia first reads about the Amazon, she encounters these words: "For whether a place is a hell or a heaven rests in yourself, and those who go with courage and an open mind may find themselves in Paradise" (p. 6). Discuss this idea with relation to the setting of each of the books. How does each character's perception of a place affect the way he or she reacts to that place? How does perception of place affect you in your own life?

Customer Reviews

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Journey to the River Sea 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was totally AMAZING. I had to read it for the 2011-2012 Battle of the Books list. It was so great and I loved it so much. If you are a reader of adventure and seek hints of romance and inner-connection with a legitament, exhilarating story, you're looking at it!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Journey to the River Sea is still to this day one of my favorite books. I have read several of Eva Ibbotson's books, but this one is definitely her best! The way she described the setting made me want to hop on a plane and see it for myself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Journey to the River Sea is okay. It starts off more than a little slow, but picks up at the end.
mzonderm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At first, this looks like a fairly predictable orphaned-English-girl-gets-shipped-off-to-live-with-distant-relatives story. Predictably, the family Maia is to live with in Brazil is horrid, and only allowed her to come at all so that they could get the allowance that comes with her. Fortunately, Maia has a very sympathetic, if somewhat mysterious governess who accompanies her to Brazil and in her adventures. It isn't until Maia's been in Brazil for a while that the story begins to come out of its predictable beginnings. There's a missing boy who may or may not actually be missing, and a child actor suddenly looking at the end of his career, and possibly Maia's new family has been living on ill-gotten gains for some time.This is quite an enjoyable story, with plenty of adventure, and some intrigue mixed in for good measure. The characters are believable and the ending is quite satisfying, with the horrid family getting their comeuppance and Maia and her friends being able to live out their dreams.
labfs39 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maia is a wealthy orphan from Victorian England who is sent to live with unknown relatives in the Amazon. Accompanying her is a stern, but book-loving governess named Miss Minton. Maia dreams of adventures and a loving family to welcome her. Unfortunately, the Carters are only after her money. But there are adventures to be had with a half Indian boy heir to an unwanted fortune in England, a child actor who longs to return home to the land of bread puddings, and a lovable natural history museum curator.I read this book to my daughter, and at first I was charmed, although there were shades of The Secret Garden hovering about the book. (Why are there so many orphans in children's literature? This book had three.) Unfortunately I didn't feel as though we learned as much about the Amazon as about the more detestable aspects of British classism. Also, I wish that Maia had been a stronger female character. Much of the time she is a pawn for others, and I wish she had shown more initiative in going after her dreams of exploration. Although there were exciting moments, it was a big of a slog to get to the end. I have not given up on the author, however, as I hear some of her other books are better.
LyzzyBee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
14 Sep 2010 - from Emma, Beth and GraceI'd been discussing this book with my friend Emma and her daughters when I saw them at the weekend. I didn't have room in my bags to take their copy home with me, so we agreed they'd post it to me. I was thrilled when a brand new copy arrived via Amazon on Tuesday! I promised to read it quickly and let them know what I thought about it, and it was no problem to promote it up the reading pile!This is a fabulous book that I feel follows in the tradition of earlier children's books like The Secret Garden or The Little Princess. Indeed, this tale of an orphan girl shipped off to a new life on the other side of the world mentions Little Lord Fauntleroy, a nice touch for the adult and younger reader.It's fabulous in two ways - a very good read and full of excitement, colour, mystery and magic. Maia is a lovely heroine and I adored her governess, Miss Minton, first met seeming very forbidding with a terrifying umbrella, but soon revealed to have a trunk full of books, and therefore to be on our side. All the requisite elements are here, from absent-minded professors to distant guardians, a fantastic landscape and a realistically described city, and an interesting family to live with. I particularly liked the way Miss Minton's fate worked out, and the way Ibbotson worked in different parts to appeal to different groups of readers, from the knockabout experiences of a couple of lawyers, to the very odd obsessions of the Carters, to the interesting and beautiful dwellers in the jungle.Any more than this would give the plot away, so I'll just exhort people to get hold of a copy and read it! It's won a Nestle Children's Book Prize and been shortlisted for the Carnegie, and rightly so - a classic for the future.
HeatherSwinford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about the adventures of an orphaned English girl who must travel an live with her terrible relatives in Brazil. The main character is very loving and trusting. The characters are all adventurous and connected with the bond of family. Each of the main characters are wanting to have the family that they have either lost or never had. The story takes us from England to Brazil, through the jungles, then back to England, and once again returning to Brazil for more adventure. The book could be used for exposure to other cultures, also could be trasitioned into many different units depending on the need for the child/classroom.
MissTeacher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful story about finding what you never knew you were looking for. The story brings to life all different aspects of existence in the Amazon, and stages an epic battle between the two forces at work there--the 'civilized' world trying to tame and contain it, and the 'savage' world only trying to understand its beauty. Reminiscent of The Secret Garden, this is another story of a English orphan who is moved out of her element, forced into a quiet and sterile environment, who refuses not to shine. With a wonderful happy ending and the perfect amount of vengence for all wrongs done, this is a gem for both young readers and those who still feel young.
Goldengrove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyd this book. It's a good story with an engaging central character and plenty of incident. Maia has a lot to cope with: her parents have died and she must travel to the Amazon with a governess she does not know to live with distant relatives that she has never met. She is an adventurous person and approaches her new life with enthusiasm and spirit. But things do not turn out quite as she has hoped, and Maia is soon dealing with difficult people and an unexpected adventure.The story, set in 1910, reminded me rather of 'A Little Princess' with its lonely, plucky heroine, but Maia is more convincing character than Sara Crewe.The description of the Amazon and its people is vivid and real and left me with a lasting sense of the colours and sounds of the amazon.
tipsister on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked up Journey to the River Sea, by Eva Ibbotson, strictly because I needed a book written by an "I" author. Fortunately I chose wisely and thanks to the A to Z Challenge, I found a wonderful book that I probably would never have looked at otherwise.Maia is an orphan who is leaving the security of her boarding school in England to travel to the Amazon to live with distant relatives. She has images of her twin cousins becoming fast friends, and having adventures in the jungle. Once she arrives, she realizes that nothing is as it seems. Her aunt is paranoid, her uncle unaware, and her cousins are downright creepy. It is Miss Minton, Maia's nanny and teacher, who protects Maia from her awful family. Maia does find her adventure in the jungle, and with a great cast of characters, we the readers go along for the ride. Journey to the River Sea is one of those special books that is going to stay with me. I plan to share this book with many people and I really highly recommend it. If any of you are teachers, it's an excellent book to read aloud, with all the twists and turns.
madamepince on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read in ages and the first one I've read that was written by Ibbotson (I'm ashamed to say). Makes me want to read more by her. A great book for daughters.
liahna89 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maia, an English orphan, is sent to live with her only living relatives, the Carters, currently living in Brazil outside the city of Manaus. Although the Carters are trully horrible, Maia is able to find solace, in her governess, Ms. Minton, who helps her to discover the beauty of the jungle. Maia makes friends in town including Clovis, a child actor in a company that has come to Manaus, and Finn, a half British, half Indian boy who lives on his own in the jungle. With them Maia discovers her passions and goes on the adventure of a lifetime. Reminicant of turn of the century children's books like The Secret Garden or Little Women, Journey to the River Sea can at times be overly sentimental, but the earnestness of the main charachter makes the story a timeless favourite. Maia is a wonderful argument for letting children live "big lives". I read this story years ago and it continues to stay with me and influence how I treat my students and other children in my life. I would definitly recomend this to any young girl with a hearty imagination and a thirst for adventure
heidijane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful little book. I would have loved this as a child. If i had a daughter, i'd want her to read this book. My only quibble is that the girl in the story, Maia, is too perfect - clever, good, unspoilt etc. But then, as she's the heroine, i can forgive her...
drruth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An exciting story of a young woman who goes to the Amazon River to be raised by unscrupulous relatives who resist seeing the beauty of the world around them and lock themselves away from the savage jungle and its people who she longs to meet. A secondary story includes another orphan who refuses to be found and has become part of the jungle that he loves, refusing to return to England and proper society despite the great wealth that awaits him. The story revolves around these two young people finding solutions to their related dilemmas with the aid of sympathetic adults and yet one more orphan... Very well told and enjoyable and explores an entirely new setting for the time period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a well written, funny and a tad bit educational. I like how the characters are very, obviously, thought of thouroughly, and have unique personalities, just like in real life. Speaking of which, the overall realism is a very high percentage. I have not completed the book, but only on chapter 5, and even then, it is very high in quality, and meets very high expectaions. I am working on it in a novel, for obvious reasons, and am glad that i chose it for my group. Highly recomended, worth reading, even only to chapter 5, book. Must read. If you see this book on the shelves of your local book store, snatch it before anybody else can get at it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is so great that it has become one of my best reads. it's a bit boring in the beginning, but if u read it further, u begin to like it. Maia's character has been so beautifully made that u can't stop yourself from being fond of her. u must must read it......
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first began reading this book I thought it was horrible. I didn't like it at all and I really didn't want to read it but as we kept on reading I started to like it. I guess that I just hated the beginning of the book and loved it towards the end. The beginning seemed dull to me so when your reading this book and you think the beginning is dull don't stop reading it because it does get very interesting towards the end of the story. Many events happen more towards the end. Many exciting events happen and make you more interested in finding out what happens to the characters in the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Journey to the River Sea was one of the best books I have read in a long time. It was exciting and fun. This book is not any old predictable book where you can automatically guess what is going to happen. If you read this book ,i can assure you that you will not be dissapointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book a lot. It was interesting and exicting. Eva Ibbotson is one of my favorite authors. She really knows how to pull you into her books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The setting for Journey To The River Sea by Eva Ibbotson mostly takes place in the Amazon. Once you get into the book it is very hard to put it down. The book has suspense and drama. Maia is an orphan living in and going to the best school in London. Suddenly she learns that she is going to have to stay with her unknown relatives, the Carters, in the Amazon. She thinks that her cousins will like her and every thing will be fun. On her journey to the Amazon, she meets her governess and they become friends. She also meets a young actor named Clovis. When she gets to her new house, it is anything but fun. She is not allowed to go outside and play. Her two cousins, Beatrice and Gwendolyn, are mean to her because they have never lived with anyone before. After she gets settled in, she finds that the Indians are not bad and they will not do anything to her. An Indian boy brings her out to a lagoon where she meets a young boy named Finn. He explains that he needs her to help him get away. His grandfather has sent two people to bring him back so he can inherit Westwood, when his grandfather dies. Both his uncle and father would have been the next in line to inherit Westwood, but they both have died. Maia, Finn and Clovis come up with a plan to have Clovis and Finn switch places. The story continues with them carrying out their plan. After you get done with the first few chapters of the book you will be drawn into the story. It¿s an easy book to read and to understand. I recommend this book for intermediate school-age children and some high school teens.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my very favorite books. It does NOT start off slow. Ibbotsen describes things wonderfully. If I could, I'd give it 10 stars.