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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Secret of Platform 13
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2002
this was my absolute favourite book when i was younger and i still read it now. i believed totally that there were such things as gumps, doors leading to other worlds, and i always hoped that i would find the one hidden on platform 13 so that i could live on the island and see the mistmakers. i was enthralled as i read the adventures of Odge Gribble and her magical friends who go through the gump to find the long lost prince who was stolen 9 years before. it is a completely original, funny, magical and heartwarming story and i highly recommend it.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Because years before Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was written, Eva Ibbotson thought up the same story. At platform 13 of King's Cross there's the opening to a magical world of witches, hags, giants and creatures called mistmakers which puff out mist when they hear music, so keeping their island refuge secret. The King and Queen of the island have a little prince born to them, but when his three nannies take him through the gump to enjoy fish-and-chips, he gets kidnapped by the rich and horrible Mrs. Trottle. Nine years must pass before the little Prince can be rescued. But when the rescue party (consisting of a wizard, a gardening witch, and ogre and a little hag, Odge) arrive in our world they find Raymond Trottle a gross spoilt bully. Only the despised odd-job boy, who is as nice as Raymond is nasty, will help them....
A gloriously funny quest with an ending that brings tears to the eyes. We particularly enjoyed the Mrs. Thatcher-style harpies who knock out enemies with their disgusting handbags.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 22 April 2004
Years before J K Rowling invented Platform nine and three quarters, IvaI bbotsen created her wonderful book: ‘The Secret of Platform 13,’ about asecret portal beneath a railway station leading to a mystical island kingdom far, far away. Unfortunately, this portal (or gump) only opens briefly once every nine years … and last time it opened the king and queen’s newborn baby was stolen. Now the royal family send four islanders to rescue their son: An elderly wizard, a magical fey, an invisible ogre and a young hag. Unfortunately, the now nine-year-old prince doesn’t want to be rescued.
The writing is a sheer delight, describing the fantastical characters with such charm that they are easy to visualise and become utterly believable.This book is perfect for 8 – 9 year-olds to read on their own – or would make a great bedtime story read nightly to 6 – 7 year-olds. It’s exciting, magical, mysterious … but best of all, there’s nothing too frightening and plenty to make you laugh out loud!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 6 May 2004
Years before J K Rowling invented Platform nine and three quarters, Iva Ibbotsen created her wonderful book: 'The Secret of Platform 13,' about a secret portal beneath a railway station leading to a mystical island kingdom far, far away. Unfortunately, this portal (or gump) only opens briefly once every nine years ... and last time it opened the king and queen's newborn baby was stolen. Now the royal family send four islanders to rescue their son: An elderly wizard, a magical fey, an invisible ogre and a young hag. Unfortunately, the now nine-year-old prince doesn't want to be rescued.
The writing is a sheer delight, describing the fantastical characters with such charm that they are easy to visualise and become utterly believable. This book is perfect for 8 - 9 year-olds to read on their own - or would make a great bedtime story read nightly to 6 - 7 year-olds. It's exciting, magical, mysterious ... but best of all, there's nothing too frightening and plenty to make you laugh out loud!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2011
(This review was written by my 9 year old daughter)
Amazing, I think The secret of platform 13 is GREAT. Before I bought this i wanted to know who the lady on the front was. I think everyone should have a copy in their house.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2010
the secret of platform 13 was about a baby prince being taken by his 3 nanny's through from the most mystical island to the streets of london, every nine years the gump opens to get through, for nine days.......... the baby prince was stolen by a rich lady and her husband, she really wanted a baby of her own and there was no baby's she could adopt...........
after the gump closed it was a sad nine years and rescuers had been chosen to go and steal back the prince from his fake mother, would it work or would they have to have more help?
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2001
A gump is a hidden door opening every 9 years, leading to another world, and there's one on platform 13 at Kings Cross Station...and this one leads to a island full of weird and wacky creatures, determined to rescue their prince stolen 9 years before. But the prince has become a difficult and horrible boy, and the rescue won't be easy! Ogres, wizards, hags and ghosts all play their part in the rescue. A not-to-be missed book, is easy to like because of its' delightful characters, and great storyline! I couldn't put it down, and then couldn't wait to read it again! (So I did!)All children fascinated by Harry Potter will love this too!
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on 14 February 2012
Some say this was the original Harry Potter. (But even if it was the Harry Potter series of reading that we now know, Love and enjoy has given the Children and Adults of the modern world the Joy of starting or re-starting reading books with a good story line).

but after reading This little book you could get the feeling that maybe the Lovely and talented Miss Rowling just maybe may have read this little book when she was a small child, and enjoyed it so much that it buried its self in her Sub-conscience. probably not , but its a nice whimsical thought.

but all i know my neice did seem to have enjoyed it and so did I :-)
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This book is a great choice for any young reader. Before Potter found his platform to Hogwarts, there existed another hidden platform close by, one that leads to an island teeming with fantastic creatures and magical beings, who for the most part live happily together.
The thing is, the doorway to the island only opens for nine days every nine years, and almost nine years ago, the baby prince was kidnapped by an obnoxious but wealthy woman. The time has finally come again for the portal (or gump) to open, and a SWAT team of magical folk has been assembled for the search and rescue mission.
This relatively simple expedition gets very complicated when they find that the prince doesn't live up to expectations, and isn't willing to return to the island. Fast moving, sometimes funny and always imaginative, you won't want to put this one down, even though you can figure out the plot "twist" very early on.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2000
Next to Harry Potter this is my faviorite book. The secret of Platform 13 can thrill the imagination to dizzying heights whether you are 6 or 66.Step into the mysterious world concealed behind the cloak room of Kings cross station and discover dreamed up creatures that put a whole new light on every day life.Laugh and gasp as you become enthralled in Eva Ibbotson's enchanting tale.You find out something new every time you read it and You can't help loving all the unbeatably funny characters!
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