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4.7 out of 5 stars170
4.7 out of 5 stars
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HALL OF FAMEon 20 May 2002
My daughter (9) has read this book 3 times and so have all the girls in her class. Each time it gets better. Maia, the orphan heroine of the tale who travels to Manaus (also the setting of one of Ibbotson's adult novels, Company of Swans) in Brazil is like Mary in The Secret Garden one of those splendid, intelligent and courageous girls you feel is a friend. Her governess, who like Maia refuses to be cowed by the ludicrously conventional Carters, Maia's uncle and aunt, is an equally captivating character. Impoverished by their unsuccessful attempts at planting rubber, these mean-spirited, snobbish adults and their spiteful twins almost succeed in their plans to control Maia and her inheritance - only a young boy-actor and a mysterious English boy hiding in the jungle help to overcome them. Funny, wise and completely compelling this is a classic in the best sense. So are Ibbotson's other children's novels.
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on 18 October 2005
'Journey to the River Sea' - Eva Ibbotson.
An all time favourite book of mine is defiantly 'Journey to the River Sea' by Eva Ibbotson. It has been the winner of the Smarties Book Prize Gold Award and runner up for the Whitbread Children's Book of the year and The Guardian Fiction Award.
It is a fantastic teenage novel based on a young orphaned girl called Maia who begins a new life with relatives, she has never met, a thousand miles up the Amazon River. Maia thinks to herself that she is going to heaven, while her classmates tell her that there is huge mosquitoes which bite you and turn you yellow as a lemon then kill you.
When Maia arrives at the Brazilian jungle everything is not what she expects especially the family she calls relatives (who are actually only after her money). But what she doesn't know is shes in for some adventures.
I enjoyed this book for the brilliant detailed description of the Brazilian jungle that is used. The life and adventures of Maia are touching, the whole plot makes you want to read on and find out more about each individual. I think that this particular book is more aimed at girls rather than boys because it's more feminine and flowery with a lot of love and sympathy.
Eva Ibbotson has written a selection of other books like 'Monster Mission', 'Which Witch?' and 'Dial a Ghost' just to mention a few.
Overall I would recommend this book to any girl, it is a wonderful read.
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on 14 January 2010
I bought this for my 9 year old daughter and we both loved it. The characters are very well written and it is easy to form a relationship with them and care about what happens to them ( not the horrible people of course). Ibbotson does not shy away from painting a picture of how cruel people can be to each other. The story describes strong relationships between the 3 main children and the way they look after each other is touching and very clever
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on 27 July 2003
'Journey To The River Sea' by Eva Ibbotson has to be the best book I have ever and will ever read. It's full of surprises and never fails to delight me or anybody else who reads it. Even though I read it again and again I still get that deep down tickling feeling of excitement. It's a touching story of loyalty and love mixed with adventures. A small girl accompanied by a strict governess travelling down the Amazon while making good friends and helping them in times of need. Eva Ibbotson has a special gift and uses it to it's best. When I got this book as a present I got it with another book called The Thief Lord. At the bottom of the cover is a comment by Eva Ibbotson. I followed her judgement and really enjoyed the book, but although it is good it is only my second best book. It is no match for 'Journey To The River Sea' which is brilliant story and if you don't buy it something is wrong with you.
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HALL OF FAMEon 2 July 2001
I've just discovered Eva Ibbotson and can't think why she isn't better known because I couldn't put it down and neither could my daughter! Maia, the enchantingly brave and resourceful heroine is forced to journey to the Amazon with her governess, an intelligent woman armed with a formidable hat-pin. They meet up with a boy actor playing Little Lord Fauntleroy with a group of travelling players on board ship, who becomes Maia's friend. Maia falls in love with the Amazon, but her relations are both boring and sinister - obsessed by money and convention. Her twin cousins and aunt live in terror of the Amazon, and before long only the mysterious boy Maia meets on the river can save her from evil.
The wit and pace of this delightful book never flags. It has a marvellous plot, the last detail of which is satisfyingly worked out. I can't think of a child who wouldn't enjoy it, unless he/she is as dull as Maia's cousins.
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on 21 December 2009
This is not just a book for kids- children and grown-ups alike will be fascinated by the tale of orphaned Maia, her strict governess `Minty' and their journey to the Amazon.

I truly couldn't stop turning the pages; I love it when a book surprises me and this one did just that- it's full of adventure and best of all- it's honest and uncomplicated. You'll fall in love with Maia and wish you could head to the deepest depths of the Brazillian rainforest on a rickety boat too. I'm keeping this to read to my own children one day- the descriptions are rich and the characters are beautifully developed- I positively *loathed* the Carter twins but would love a Miss Minton of my own to teach me all about the jungle and the creatures that inhabit it.

5 Stars from me! Bravo Eva Ibbotson, I'm off to see what else you've written.
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on 25 January 2011
I didn't like the look of this book at first, but I decided to try it- and I'm glad I did!

A truly brilliant book for all ages. I'd say it was 10+ (it didn't swear or have anything bad in but it the plot might be advanced for 9 year olds) and the genre Reality and Adventure. I'd give this book 10/10 and ***** because it as a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Maia is an orphan who gets sent to her cousins in the Amazon. She fantasizes about adventuring with, but is severely wrong when she meets horrible twins. The Carter family refuse to go outside and see the Amazon as their enemy. Then Maia meets a strange boy called Finn and her adventure begins.........

It is a very well written book with a great plot and a especially good ending.


Girl- Aged 11

Nestle's Children Book Prize, Gold Award
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal
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on 23 January 2002
This is without a doubt one of the mast fantastic books I have ever read! What's more all 23 year 6 girls in my class have read it and every single one loved it too!
Maia goes to the Amazon where she hopes to find family to love her and adventures. You really feel as though you are travelling with her and seeing the wonders of the rain forest through her eyes. There is a great mixture of excitments, adventures, sad moments, worrying moments and a totally satisfying ending. Go on, read it today!!!
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VINE VOICEon 8 October 2007
This was recommended to me by a friend as being suitable for a bright 10-13 year old child. Naturally, I read it as well, since I am old enough and with broad enough tastes not to be bothered about what people think about me reading a children's book.

It is another orphan's adventure. Here, the intelligent, life-loving Maia finds herself taken from London to be "cared" for by distant relatives in Manaus, Brazil, who are actually only interested in the money she has been left, and who do their best to make her life miserable. There are two other orphans, as well - Clovis and Finn. All three have to act beyond their years to find themselves the place in life that they are looking for.

The setting and the culture of Amazonia, and the extraordinary place that was Manaus at the turn of the century (a golden opera house a thousand miles up the Amazon river!) is captured beautifully, and Ibbotson sharply observes the cabin fever and eventual disintegration of Maia's new "family", who loathe their location, and treat it and the people around them with immense disrespect. The twist in the tail was a little too obvious for a mature reader, which is why I only gave the book four stars. However, this is an excellent book for a readerly child to lose himself or (more likely) herself in for a few days.
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on 15 April 2010
I bought this book for my 10 year old daughter, and she is really enjoying reading it. As she was unable to put it down, i was intrigued so started to read it myself.
I am so glad that i did. What a great read full of drama, and magic. I was totaly drawn into the story and found it to be a really captivating story.
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