Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson

Last year I read Eva Ibbotson's last book, One Dog and His Boy, so imagine my surprise and joy to find a NEW Ibboson title released this year.

You can read in full about how this manuscript was uncovered here, but the short version is that Eva's son Toby found the shelves manuscript and it was close to being a final draft.  With the help of Marion Lloyd, Eva's editor, they worked together to bring one more Ibbotson story to life.

The blurb:

A hundred years ago, in the Himalayan peaks of Nanvi Dar, the daughter of an English earl is kidnapped by a huge hairy monster. In a secret valley Agatha Farley is introduced to a family of motherless yetis and devotes her life to their upbringing. She teaches them to speak, tells them stories and insists on polite manners. But as the decades pass, tourists come to the mountains, a hotel is built and yeti-hunters arrive. Agatha knows that there is one place in the world where they would be protected - her ancestral home at Farley Towers. When a boy and his sister stumble upon her hidden valley, she knows she has found the courageous people who will carry out her plan. The excited yetis are smuggled into the bridal suite at the hotel. A freezer lorry is waiting to put them into semi-hibernation on the long trip home. But the baby yak that has fallen in love with the youngest yeti foils the refrigeration plan and they set off on a hugely entertaining road trip half way across the world. In the Sultan of Aslerfan's kingdom the yetis release all the animals from his zoo. In the Alps they rescue a lost child in a blizzard. In Spain, the yak creates chaos at a bullfight. But when they arrive in England, a terrible shock awaits them at Farley Towers...

This is a book of pure enjoyment.  Reading this story, I wanted to believe in the Yeti, and I wanted to believe that it was possible to live for 100 years in their hidden valley.  I think it would make an excellent choice as a book to share in the classroom, because it's fun, but it also has substance.  It has themes of friendship, loyalty, kindness, integrity and a look at what happend when the built world begins to encroach on the natural one.
Like One Dog and His Boy, this story shows all facets of the human condition.  There are those who are kind and selfless, and then there are the greedy and selfish, and it is a nice change to read a story where the good guys might actually win. It's a story where good really does triumph.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh thanks for explaining how there was another last book by Ibbotson I was wondering!
    I loved One Dog and his Boy too.