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The Ogre of Oglefort

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  595 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
When a Hag, an orphan boy and a troll called Ulf get sent to rescue a princess from an ogre, they expect it to be a fairly standard magical mission. But the ogre is depressed, the princess doesn't want to be rescued - and the ogre's dead wife is turning in her grave.
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published May 7th 2010 by MacMillan UK
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So, it seems that my first Eva Ibbotson is her last, which is very sad, because this book was great.

I loved the characters, and the story, and the randomness, and the fact that it's a children's book in which a little boy in it actually contemplated (and thankfully rejected!) murder. When do you ever see that? Usually the "good" characters in these books are so wholesome that you could use them to lower your cholesterol... but here we have "good" characters who actually have human thoughts and
The Library Lady
The only bad thing about this book is that it's the last one from Ibbotson, who is not read as nearly as much as she should be. She was writing terrific fantasies long before Harry P came along and she continued to outdo most of the Rowling wannabees that have come along since the fantasy market exploded.

Reading this on New Year's Eve, I found the very last lines especially moving. They may have been the last lines Ibbotson wrote:

“Anyone who has an egg to watch over has a stake in the future, an
Jul 29, 2012 Tami rated it really liked it
The Ogre of Oglefort is rarely what you expect when you read the story of a princess and an ogre. And that is one of the reasons I loved it. So did my 8 and 9-year-old, as we read it for one our bedtime story selections.

The story actually begins far away from the Ogre: in London with the Hag and her toad, Gladys. Gladys has become difficult, of late. This small change in the toad's behavior causes the Hag to form an alliance with a young orphan boy--Ivo--whose acquaintance she has made recently.
Lucy March

If you enjoy Eva Ibbotson's Historical Fiction novels (A Company of Swans, Song For Summer, Countess Below Stairs, etc), really like Fantasy books, but were disappointed with The Secret of Platform 13, THIS is the book you HAVE to read!

As much as I LOVE Eva Ibbotson (she is one of my all time FAVORITE AUTHORS) I was unsure if it'd care for this book because of my...well, not so much dislike of as apathy towards...Platform 13.

I had nothing to worry about. This is a fun, sweet (at times bitterswee
Aug 29, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bks-grade-4-5
Fun fantasy for upper elementary. Good for boys and girls. While it doesn't need a sequel (or even end suggesting one), it's a shame we'll never know what's in store for Clarence.
Jan 14, 2017 Robbie rated it it was amazing
My goodness me, what an outstanding imagination Eva Ibbotson has. Mike and I absolutely loved this story. The magical creatures of the world have all been displaced from their homes due to modern man's reclamation of swamps and cutting down of forests. Many of them have moved to London and are working in ordinary, everyday jobs. Most of them are miserable with their lives but every year they attend a conference for magical creatures where they are all assigned a fairly simple rescue mission whic ...more
Oct 30, 2016 Tiffany rated it really liked it
We really enjoyed this book. Eva Ibbotson is a fabulous writer similar to JK Rowling. Interesting and different tale, with a hint of magic and pretty funny.
Dec 16, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ogre of Oglefort is a very funny and creative story. It definitely follows the pattern of the majority of Eva Ibbotson's children's books: The main characters are not within the mold of your average heroes! Instead of princesses or princes or knights being the main concentration, they're ghosts or hags or ogres or strange animals. But it works! She has a way of making the gross and nasty things that revolve around the existence of those creatures seem like part of every day life and, more of ...more
Jan 06, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy

The Ogre of Oglefort isn't really what I expected it to be and for that I was incredibly grateful. I assumed, because I didn't actually read the description because I love the author, that it would be the same old damsel in distress kind of story. I was surprised to find out it was the complete opposite! It was a surprising, engaging, and fun read; and I would recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy especially with creatures like witches, trolls, ogres, etc.
Melody Violine
Dec 27, 2010 Melody Violine rated it liked it
Seorang nenek sihir (Hag) dan teman-teman anehnya di asrama khusus orang “tidak biasa” harus berangkat ke pertemuan orang-orang “tidak biasa” se-London. Karena binatang pendamping Hag mogok, ia mencari-cari pengganti dan akhirnya terpaksa pergi dengan Ivo, anak laki-laki dari panti asuhan yang sering mengobrol dengannya. Di pertemuan, tiga nenek cenayang menyuruh mereka (Hag, Ivo, penyihir bernama Dr. Brian, dan troll bernama Ulf) untuk menyelamatkan seorang putri dari ancaman ogre jahat di kast ...more
Brandy Painter
Feb 26, 2012 Brandy Painter rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
Originally posted here.

I have read a couple (and reviewed one) of Eva Ibbotson's historical romances, but had never read one of her MG fantasies until now. The Ogre of Oglefort was the last fantasy Ibbotson wrote prior to her death in 2010. After reading it I'm very interested in her other such works, particularly as I have a daughter who would gobble them up like chocolate I think. (The copy of Ogre is already in her excited hands.) This book has all kinds of kiddie appeal.

The book starts out w
What do you do when you have:
a) A fine and upstanding troll with a good heart.
b) A hag is who is kind and cheery in the tradition of the best old-fashioned grandmothers.
c) A mother-pecked wizard who brews nothing more that odious smells with dastardly results.
d) An orphan who prefers a madcap adventure with the aforementioned trio rather than facing one more monotonous day at the dreary orphanage.

You sit tight as they get sent on the much loved and severely clichéd quest of them all: *RESCUE A P
From August 2011 SLJ:
Gr 3-5–In post-World War II Britain, as their lands have been taken over by modern industry, hags, trolls, wizards, and other magical beings have been forced to move to the cities and find menial jobs. The one bright spot in an otherwise drab existence is the annual Summer Meeting of Unusual Creatures. The Hag of the Dribble, who runs a boardinghouse in the middle of London, is beside herself when her familiar, a tired old toad, won’t go. Her young neighbor Ivo has an idea–h
Juniper Shore
I'm a fan of Eva Ibbotson's books for adults, so I figured I'd try one of her books for kids. I wasn't disappointed. The Ogre of Oglefort is much shallower than, say, The Reluctant Heiress, but it has the sly humor and varied characters I've come to expect from its author.

Ibbotson had a gift for tossing off subtle jokes and making them fit the context perfectly. There are lots of one-liners in The Ogre of Oglefort. The villains manage to be sinister and comical at the same time, which is a rare
Oct 18, 2011 Bethany rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile, humor, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joe Steward
Jun 23, 2013 Joe Steward rated it liked it
While I didn't find this book the greatest read, I am aware that it was Eva Ibbotson's last and from reading reviews from other people it is in keeping with her writing, with "her usual cast of fanciful characters and a couple of kind, well intentioned humans who help save the day."

A princess who decides she no longer wants to live the "princess" life style goes off in search of an ogre who will change her into something more common and "normal". However when she "goes missing" a group of supern
When young, wealthy, yet defiant Princess Mirella has vanished and thought to be in the clutches of The Ogre of Oglefort, who is nasty and changes humans into animals, a hag, wizard, troll, and a young orphan named Ivo are charged with killing the Ogre and rescuing the Princess. But, sometimes not all is what it seems and Princesses do not always want or need to be rescued.

When the band of rescuers reach the Ogre's castle, they find the Princess Mirella is very much in charge and is demanding he
Ryan De Silva
Sep 11, 2016 Ryan De Silva rated it liked it
The book is written with great imagination but it is not enough to satisfy myself.The story has a large amount of locations which haven't being described very well. it's a big story a long one.But its hard to figure out or imaginate the story inside the mind.
LCL Children'S
May 14, 2015 LCL Children'S rated it really liked it
A hag, a troll, a bumbling wizard, and an orphan boy are an unlikely set of adventurers, but they may be just what is needed in these circumstances. You see, it appears that Princess Mirella has been kidnapped by the fearsome ogre of Oglefort -- but, as we all know, appearances can be deceiving! Strong-minded Mirella ran away from an arranged marriage, the ogre is suffering from depression and has decided to just lay down and die, and Oglefort proves surprisingly comfortable and homelike to the ...more
Marcia Drane
Sep 13, 2016 Marcia Drane rated it really liked it
This story as well as the rest of her stories always are always charming and delightful.
Star parts: A long while ago I read The Secret of Platform 13 1/2 and it left me with this lovely warm fuzzy feeling inside. This was Ibbotson's last book before she died. This one isn't so warm and fuzzy, if anything all the characters are a little dark: the hag, the troll and the Princess! Yes, they are all a little on the dark side. But we do feel for them. We feel for them far more than the Ogre and people who are bothering the Ogre at his castle. They're actually kind of annoying. And the o ...more
Oct 01, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ncbla
This romp of a fantasy novel features a couple of likeable humans whose lives intersect a hag, a troll, and a wizard, and a castle belonging to an ogre. When the hag, the troll, and the wizard--plus Ivo, the hag's stand-in familiar--head off to find out their Summer Task, it turns out to be harder than any of them had imagined. Once they journey to the ogre's home, they catch him as he appears to be getting ready to kill Princess Mirella. But all is not as it seems, and the princess had just per ...more
Jan 08, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
This is the last of Eva Ibbotson's books (I'm guessing, given her death last year) and it's a wonderful one. We start in post-war London, where there's a boarding house with Unusual People: a Hag, a troll, a wizard, an enchantress, a couple of hankies and a very normal human. Oh, and Gladys, the Hag's familiar. Gladys decides she's too tired to continue on, and so the Hag must find another familiar before heading to the Meeting, at which all London's Unusual People will learn the Summer Task. Of ...more
Shannon Cooley
May 28, 2013 Shannon Cooley rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
First off, I love Ibbotson's writing. While I prefer her historical romances for me, this is one I know my kids are absolutely going to love someday, and it would be a fun read-aloud. I'm glad I bought it.

One thing I loved is how the characters of the Hag, the Troll, the Wizard, the Ogre, etc. are pulled from the stereotypes while still retaining some critical elements that we associate with those creatures (such as the ogre's dirtyness, etc).

This was funny and cute, and while I didn't love it q
Feb 13, 2011 Edie rated it it was amazing
While this is not a perfect book, it is Eva Ibbotson's last and has her usual cast of fanciful characters and a couple of kind, well intentioned humans who help save the day. And there are lots of twists which add to the fun. A princess who doesn't want to live that life goes off in search of an ogre who will change her into something more acceptable to her values and life style...and when she "goes missing" a group of supernaturals are sent off to rescue her. The ogre has problems of his own an ...more
Beth Bonini
Jan 14, 2012 Beth Bonini rated it really liked it
When I read this novel to my class (of 10/11 year old girls), I chose a scene in which the Princess Mirella seems to be cowering in fear at the feet of the horrible Ogre of Oglefort. But in Ibbotson's world, things are often not what they seem; and as it turns out the Princess keeps nagging the Ogre to turn her into another creature so she can escape her princessly fate (wearing dresses, marrying a prince). Poor Ogre; people keep showing up, all wanting to become something else, and he's just do ...more
Unexpected turns of events render this story an utter delight. Although its messages about accepting the good that life deals out to you, following your own path and finding that every cloud has a silver lining, etc., are rather obvious, it’s acceptable, given that the writing is clearly aimed for pre-teens.

Turning fairy tale conventions on their heads is nothing new in modern children’s books but Ibbotson rendered this story with flair and wit. The characters are all searching for ways out of t
Jan 22, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
What can I say? It's Eva Ibbotson. Of course there's a journey, of course it all comes right in the end. Everytime I read a book by a British author now I think of the Olympics opening ceremony. How right they were to include children's literature. And how wonderful for all of us that they have such a tradition of excellence. I wish every child could read every book written by Ibbotson.

As is always the case in a world run by children, they wanted to "turn the place into somewhere where people wo
Nov 16, 2011 Phoebe rated it liked it
Shelves: juv, humor, ghost, fantasy
A horrible ogre lives on a far distant isle, hoping for peace and quiet, but he is plagued by humans on the run who want to be changed into animals to escape their troubles. When the misfit Princess Mirella arrives, running away from the dismal fate of an arranged marriage, she causes the ogre to have a nervous breakdown, and a small party of rescuers, sent by the Norn, or fates, find they have their hands full trying to take care of the ogre and figure out what to do with the princess. As usual ...more
A strange group of Londoners sets forth on a quest: to rescue a princess and slay an ogre. But nothing is at it seems. The princess doesn't want rescue, thank you very much, and the ogre can no longer stand the pressure of other's demands. So the witch, the wizard, the troll, and the orphan stay in the castle to nurse the ogre through his collapse. And everyone discovers whats/he really needs. And a really cute dog called Charlie. Very sweet, and soothing to the soul, but a fun inversion of the ...more
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Eva Ibbotson (born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner) was a British novelist specializing in romance and children's fantasy.

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1925. When Hitler came into power, Ibbotson's family moved to England. She attended Bedford College, graduating in 1945; Cambridge University from 1946-47; and the University of Durham, from which she graduated with a diploma in edu
More about Eva Ibbotson...

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“Anyone who has an egg to watch over has a stake in the future, and the future--they were sure of it--was going to be good.” 6 likes
“He was just drifting off to sleep when it occurred to him that perhaps the dog was not so ordinary after all. Perhaps he was someone the ogre had changed, and Ivo was going to spend the night hugging a headmaster or a tax inspector” 1 likes
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