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The Secret of Platform 13

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  8,582 ratings  ·  504 reviews
A forgotten door on an abandoned railway platform is the entrance to a magical kingdom--an island where humans live happily with feys, mermaids, ogres, and other wonderful creatures. Carefully hidden from the world, the Island is only accessible when the door opens for nine days every nine years. A lot can go wrong in nine days. When the beastly Mrs. Trottle kidnaps the pr ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 1st 2001 (first published January 1st 1994)
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Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽
One of my kids brought this book home from the school library several years ago and (true to form) I swiped it when they were done and read it.* I think younger Harry Potter fans would enjoy this book. As in the HP books, there's a platform at London's Kings Cross Station that leads to a different, magical world.** This magical porthole opens only once every nine years, for a nine-day period. Nine years ago, the baby prince of this magical land was kidnapped while visiting our world. And now tha ...more
LH Johnson
Oh, oh, oh, my love for Eva Ibbotson utterly continues.

The Secret of Platform 13 is furiously magical and madly inventive. It's the story of a hidden island, wrapped away from the 'everyday' by magic and mists (mists made, fyi, by the *most* amazing creation ever - mistmakers, seal-like creatures who produce mist every time they hear beautiful music). The island is accessible through a secret door on Platform 13, Kings Cross which opens briefly every nine years.

The island is desperately missin
...more
Jess
Nov 08, 2008 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Dahl, Rowling
Shelves: fantasy, juv, lis565
Chapter book - fantasy
For grades 2-7

An ogre, a wizard, a fey and a hag are sent to our world to rescue a young prince who was stolen as a baby in this humorous, low-fantasy adventure.

Every nine years, for nine days, a doorway is open between our world and the Island, which is inhabited by all manner of fantastical creatures; when four of these magical people come through to rescue their prince, the mix-ups and adventure that ensue are more than enough to keep any young fantasy fan entertained. I
...more
Carly Green
This book has magic flowing throughout every word- I can't stress enough how much I love it. I still have the old copy from when I was very small, with my name shakily written on the inside cover. When we were asked at school what we thought heaven would be like, I simply read out Ibbotson's description of 'the island', an island with curving beaches, mermaids, hags and the all-important mistmakers. It manages to include everything a child would need to know about being good and kind, about how ...more
Meaghan
These are third grade student reviews!

MAEVE
This surprisingly twisty turny tale is about a fey, a magnificent wizard, a magical garden lady, and last, a floating eyeball (or an Ogre if you would be so kind.) They all live on an island in peace until someone no one knows steels the baby prince and everyone is dreadfully sad. This is when the story really begins…
No one except the rescuers know what’s in the world of London. The King and Queen make the rescuers set out to find their long lost son. O
...more
Jori Richardson
I was browsing through a thrift store, and when I saw this short little children's book, I decided to read it right on the spot.
I remember seeing this book everywhere when I was a younger teenager, but for some reason I never ended up reading it. It was probably during the years that I refused to read anything but historical fiction and classics (which, I must admit, still sounds loosely similar to how things are today).

But anyways.

In "The Secret of Platform 13," there is an Island somewhere (no
...more
Namratha
My foray into the crazy world of Eva Ibbotson continues!

Platform 13 at London Station has remained shut since a very long time. But any attempts to make renovations always....always get botched up. The reason being that Platform 13 hides a "gump" : an opening to a secret, utopian island. It is a blissful place, ruled by a well-loved King and Queen and plays home to all kinds of humans, animals and magical creatures. However the gump opens once in nine years for nine hours only. So anyone who wan
...more
Laurel S
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson is a book about a motley crew of rescuers who find that their mission to save their prince will not be so easy after all. The first chapter is about a prince that was born on a magic island hidden in mist. In a secret cove there is this kind of door called a "gump" that opens for a short time before closing again for 9 years. The little prince is lost on the other side of the gump in London and is stuck there for 9 years. The next time the gump opens the ...more
Amalie
There’s a Gump in every country, a special grassy mound with a hidden door which leads to a magical world. In Great Britain, this place is hidden under the platform 13 at Kings Cross Station, opened once every nine years and guarded by the Ghosts of the Gump.

The three nurses of the new-born Prince of the land: Violet, Lily and Rose step into the other side taking the baby with them to visit their old world. During this short visit Mrs. Trottle, a rich wicked lady steals the Prince and disappear
...more
vaugnfreech
I saw a copy of this at Booksale some years ago. The title is catchy enough: The Secret of Platform 13. Which sounds like, Platform 9 3/4. Harry Potter rip off? I didn't mind.

Then I saw a bargain copy lately, back to back books by Eva Ibbotson for only 55 Php. Cool enough. Two books: The Secret of Platform 13 and Island of the Aunts. I started reading The Secret of Platform 13 as soon as possible. I was inspired when I saw the publishing year: 1994. Harry Potter was first published 1997. So the
...more
Christina
Just finished reading this to my 7 and 8 year old girls. It was laugh out loud funny in parts (for them), and a wonderful rollicking tale. Not dark or complex, but so gripping for my children that we just read four chapters straight, as they could not bear to go to bed without knowing how the story ended. It is definitely a children's story, not intended for adults. But the delight was all mine - seeing their enthusiasm, empathy and enjoyment.
Lee Nespor
Definitely some similarities to Harry Potter - certain fundamental elements are there, the biggest being Kings Cross Platform 13, but where as Ibbotson handles the passage to magic in a CS Lewis manner (cloakroom doorway into another world), Rowling places it all firmly within our world and keeps it there. There is also the main character similarity - poor orphan boy living with mean adults who ignore him while adoring their spoiled son. Definitely rings some bells, but again not unique. You cou ...more
Brianna Mathes
In a magical kingdom, a King and Queen are blessed with a baby. They decide they have too many things to do and hire 3 nanny's. The nanny's start to get homesick and ask to take the baby to platform 13 and go back to where they grew up, London, England.The King and Queen finally aprove of their idea. While the nanny's are in london getting fish and chips, someone snatches the baby. The nanny's travel back to the kingdom with the bad news. The King and Queen and everyone in the kingdom became de ...more
Abi Inman
When I was eight years old my family moved from Illinois to California, and my best friend gave me this book to take with me as a goodbye present. ~memories~
Hanifah Mahdiyanti
lucu, so sweet, nyebelin, mengharukan...
gampang ditebak sih, tapi hal-hal kecilnya yang bikin surprise ga kelewatan, dan itulah yang bikin ceritanya menarik...

menegangkan banget detik-detik terakhirnya... :D
Melori
Chtěla bych mít doma taky jednoho mlhoděje, a kdyby to šlo jednu bloudu za humny, až už budu z tohohole světa fakt unavená.
Fadhilatul
suka banget sama Buku ini.. Eva ibbotson punya gaya yg khas menulis buku2 anak yg terkait dgn hantu. :)
Robin Stevens
Joyous, magical storytelling with honesty, heart and a wonderful way of seeing the world. A modern classic.
Larissa
I remember reading this book as a kid and loving it! I haven't thought about it in eons!
Sean
I read this book back in 1996 I think (it was pre Harry Potter I know that) and I've been searching for this book for probably over 10 years now trying to remember the title. Long story short, I found it! And read it again!

To review it, obviously it's a children's book but the story is still good. I had to keep reminding myself of that fact because I wanted more out of it. I rated it 4 stars probably mostly out of nostalgia. This book and Harry Potter got me loving books and readying when I was
...more
Lee Födi
I'm a big fan of Eva Ibbotson's writing. Her stories are at once old-fashioned and timeless, and unravel across the page with such ease. Her worlds seem so real. It feels like she has a cast of thousands in this book, but they pop up so naturally (and purposely) that it just tends to add to her world building and what I find so enviable is how she able to give each character a backstory, a life, with such few words. She is a master storyteller.

The other thing that I adore about this book is all
...more
Julie Decker
A magical island is hidden under Platform 13 at the subway station. As with most things magic, this doesn't make much sense, but it is so, and the gateway between our world and the magical world only opens every nine years. And unfortunately, the last time the gateway was open, the island's beloved prince was stolen, with the gateway closing before anyone could get him. He's been being raised in the mundane world for nine years, and now his countryfellows want him back. An expedition is prepared ...more
Anthony
What happens when you give an 8 year old girl, who doesn't think boys have cooties, has way too much time on her hands, and has the imaginative mind of Calvin? You'd probably get something along the lines of The Secret of Platform 13 . This book, as i will go into, is a very cute, nice, quick fantasy book. So what are we waiting for? Let's travel to the world of Gump!

The Story: Under platform 13 on the London Train station, lies a bunch of old, tarnished posters. But beyond that is a world wher
...more
Helen Byrne
This is a brilliant story about a secret portal beneath a railway station leading to a mystical island kingdom far, far away. The portal only opens once every nine years and the last time it opened the king and queen’s newborn baby was stolen. An elderly wizard, a magical fey, an invisible ogre and a young hag try to find him but now the nine-year-old prince doesn’t want to be rescued. This book would be suitable for 8 – 9 year-olds to read on their own or you could read it aloud to 6 – 7 year-o ...more
Alison C
Eva Ibbotson is a children's writer based in Britain, whose work reminds me a bit of Diana Wynne Jones. The Secret of Platform 13 (for ages 9-12) could just as easily be considered the basis for some of J.K. Rowling's stories, including the hidden train station platform that opens to take one into another world, a world full of magic and magical creatures. In this case, the otherworld is the Island, and the entrance to it (called the gump) only appears once every 9 years and is only open for 9 d ...more
Lowed
The Secret of Platform 13

I have always been fascinated how Rowling got the idea of the platform nine and three quarters. Well, I stumbled upon this book and- voila! she actually just borrowed it from someone else.. And nothing is wrong with that. Infact on one of the author's interviews she said "she would like to shake her by the hand. I think we all borrow from each other as writers."

BRAVO EVA! BRAVO!!!!
Danielle
I've been reading this to the kids, a chapter each night. I chose it because it was on a recommended reading list in the library. They enjoyed The 13 Clocks so much, I thought I would try another amusing fantasy-type story. It's adorable (I actually cheated, and read to the end one night after they fell asleep).
Johnny Bennett
Eva Ibbotson writes this tale about The Secret of Platform 13. This fairly well written novel follows rescuers through a portal between the magical world and the real world in an attempt to retrieve a stolen child.
This book fails for two primary reasons, while being well written, it somehow wasn't engaging. There is no concern for if the characters live or die. Do they succeed or not? Doesn't matter. Couldn't care less. Problem number two was predictability. From the introduction of a character
...more
Alice
I liked some of the characters and the world of the book, but it was just too predictable for me. I kept waiting for a surprise or twist, but there wasn't one.

My 13yo son liked this book and says my review is not fair. He pointed out that there actually is a fun twist and just because I guessed a central plot point doesn't mean most people will. I think if I didn't know how it was going to turn out, the trouble the little band of fairytale characters was having in our world would have been much
...more
Hayden
Jan 12, 2008 Hayden rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Potter fans
Shelves: children, fantasy
If you want to check out one of the authors that J.K. Rowling ripped off, Ibbottson is a great place to start. Raymond bears a striking resemblance to one Dudley Dursley (who was created several years later).
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JK rowling stealing ideas! 22 243 Jul 01, 2015 11:27PM  
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Fantasy Book about lost prince at birth [s] 3 47 May 13, 2014 12:13AM  
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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
More about Eva Ibbotson...
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“It's true that adventures are good for people even when they are very young. Adventures can get in a person's blood even if he doesn't remember having them. ” 1665 likes
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