Author Eva Ibbotson, who passed away in 2010, had a way with words. Today’s Flashback Friday selection from 2003 is Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea, In it, Ibbotson creates a multilayered tale that takes readers from England to the Amazon and is peppered with characters from kind to cruel. It’s 1910, and Maia is attending a girl’s academy in England when she gets word that she is no longer an orphan. An aunt, uncle and their twins have stepped forward as relatives. Excited to have relatives, start a new life and see the Amazon, Maia sets out on a long journey by land and sea with Miss Minton, her governess. Initially, MIss Minton is rather icy, but eventually Maia and Miss Minton warm to each other and grow close. Upon their arrival in Brazil, life becomes complicated. The Carters, Maia’s new relatives, are horrid people running an unsuccessful rubber plantation who despise the jungle. Maia loves her wild new world, but feels trapped by the Carters. A young actor friend, Clovis, met along her journey and a fellow jungle-loving friend, Finn, play important parts as well in Maia’s adventures.
Ibbotson’s story is enthralling, complex and well written. Readers who love classic tales full of excitement will be drawn into Maia’s journey and the cunning ways she navigates her adventures in the Amazon.
Written by Eva Ibbotson
Accelerated Reader Level 5.7
Why I like this book:
It is the kind of book that hooks you and you just have to read one more chapter before you go to sleep. Maia is relatable and many readers will imagine themselves in South America, excited, scared and brave as is Maia. The word choice, descriptions and adventures are indicative of a classic tale, which I find entertaining and satisfying to read.
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