Book Review: Monster Mission – A charming and gripping novel by Eva Ibbotson

Author Eva Ibbotson, her bestselling novels have been published around the world. Her books have also won and been shortlisted for many prizes.

Book - Monster Mission by Eva Ibbotson (Book Review in
Novel: Monster Mission by Eva Ibbotson (Book Review on


Novel: Monster Mission

Genre: Children’s literature, Young adult, Mystery, Fantasy

Author: Eva Ibbotson

First published 1999 by Macmillan Children’s Books

An imprint of Pan Macmillan


Book Review:  On a secret, forgotten island, on which lived Aunt Etta, Aunt Coral and Aunt Myrtle came unusual creatures in search of comfort and of care; and lately the aunts realized they needed help – for the animals that came to the island  stayed  long  after they were healed and  ‘help’ for them meant children who were strong and willing to learn; so the three aunts plan a wicked plan …  the story unfolds into an thrilling adventurous story with discoveries of unusual creatures on the island by the children who come to live on it.

And the unusual creatures mentioned in this novel are:

  • Selkies – Are mythical creatures found in Irish, Scottish, Faroese, and Icelandic folktale; are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land.
  • Mermaids – Are mythological marine creatures with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish.
  • Boobrie – In Scottish Highlands, there are several folktales of this unusual, gigantic bird.
  • Stoorworm – A huge cruel aquatic serpent of Orcadian folklore.
  • Kraken – A legendary sea monster of giant size that is said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland.

Monster Mission by Eva Ibbotson, is a story narrated creatively with an extraordinary touch of subtle humour and combining fantasy wonderfully with smidgen of modern life absurdities of humans.

This storyline essentially lays emphases on environmental conservation.


A fascinating read for all above 8 years — At  a leisurely pace, eight and nine year olds may take a month’s time to finish reading this novel and would require explanation of some words and happenings from an adult, this story is much engrossing to enthral children to keep coming back to it after they have finished reading a small part of it; this novel is a read of less than a week’s time for teenagers and adults, and reading this novel is a delightful experience into the territory which has been marvellous created by Eva Ibbotson.

There are 24 chapters in this novel and each chapter is of average length; with each chapter the story continues to develop. Each chapter is a reading treat, though some descriptions relating to the unusual creatures are hard to visualize.

The novel certainly requires some illustrations, each chapter with at least 2 illustrations to connect better with the scenario which the author has visualised to create this narrative.


Academic Significance of the novel Monster Mission by Eva Ibbotson:

An excellent reading material for children of above 10 years, that primarily helps in development of imagination with benefits of linguistic growth and stimulates a child’s intellect to sense illogical human behaviour.

Amazon link: Monster Mission by Eva Ibbotson

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