Sheila Beaumont's Reviews > The Dragonfly Pool

The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson
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's review
Feb 25, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: action-and-adventure, kids-middle-grade, historical, school-stories, young-adult
Read in September, 2008

I love all of Eva Ibbotson's books, and this enchanting tale of heroism and friendship, with its fairy-tale atmosphere, is one of her best. The story is set in 1939, just before WWII, and Hitler is on the move. The heroine, 11-year-old Tally, is sent by her father, a doctor in London, to Delderton, an unconventional boarding school in the Devon countryside where students are encouraged to think for themselves.

Meanwhile, in the small European country of Bergania, the king is bravely standing up to the Nazis. His son, Crown Prince Karil, seeks solace and escape from the restrictions of court life at the Dragonfly Pool, a hidden place that his father also used as a childhood refuge.

The children at Delderton are invited to a folk-dance festival in Bergania, and when Nazi conspirators assassinate the king, the children smuggle Karil out of the country to safety in England. This beautifully written story is full of adventure, narrow escapes, excitement, humor, and well-portrayed, believable characters, and Tally herself is courageous, intelligent, friendly and commonsensical. I highly recommend this delightful book to middle schoolers, teens, and adults alike. Don't miss out on it just because it's labeled young adult.

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