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VINE VOICEon 27 February 2009
This is a warm and dazzling tale set against a backdrop of WW2, and although the darkness of wartime Britain provides the context, this doesn't impinge upon the light and magic of the story. With a feisty little girl, an unusual school, a school trip abroad, and a normal little boy who happens to be the Prince of Bergania, there's mystery, uncertainty and some danger. However with great friends, faith and determination, we reach a wonderful and liberating ending.
From the very beginning The Dragonfly Pool flows with a gentle dreamlike quality and humour drawing the reader right into the story. The almost ethereal quality of the storytelling belies the strength of the bravery and determination of the characters and the underlying thought-provoking message about the choices a person may have to make about right and wrong, and doing your duty versus following your heart.
This is a fantastic book and will, I am sure, have a timeless appeal to children from around age 8. Every child will want to be a student at Tally's bohemian school and to be part of her adventure to the beautiful country of Bergania. And I do too. Brilliant!
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on 21 June 2009
The Dragonfly Pool is an enchanting book, about a very determined girl an a world that is slowly being torn apart.
The book begins in a mysterious way, that leaves the reader alittle confused, however, all is revealed later on. Then Tally leaves her home to go to a boarding school, which has very slack rules and unusual teachers. The story progresses to a school trip abroad, where the children meet the Crown Prince of Berganina, and witness the KIngs assasination and Germanys take over of the country. The chidren smuggle the Prince out of Bergania and back to England where the story continues with various twists and turns.

The story is very enjoable and emotional. There are some lessons to be learnt by reading this story, whilst you still have a brilliant reading experience. A MUST READ!!!
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VINE VOICEon 25 January 2009
I have yet to read anything by Eva Ibbotson - whether her children's books, or her books for adults - that hasn't enchanted me, and this is no exception. Full of delightful characters, warmth and adventure, it's a treat from start to finish. I hope she has many more books in her.
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on 22 May 2009
Dragonfly pool is a exiting story it engages people to keep on reading.Dragonfly pool is the first one i have read so far and i hope the other ones are as good.From a 9 year old reader.
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on 11 July 2011
I would use the words `utterly enchanting' to describe `The Dragonfly Pool.' Not only is one of my favourite Eva Ibbotson novels, it is one of my favourite novels full stop!

It tells the story of Tally, a clever young girl who is sent away to a progressive school in the south of England. Having spent a structured life, she finds it difficult to adapt. However, Delterton Hall, is located in the most beautiful place and she meets wonderful people, such as Julia, a talented actress with a guarded secret and Matteo, her charismatic yet unpredictable biology teacher. Tally's life is forever changed when she learns about an idyllic country, Bergania, whose king attempts to stand up to Hitler...

Tally is such a wonderful full-formed character. She is practical, independent, determined and so loving. She brightens the lives of those around her (including those reading the book!!) and she is instantly likeable. The story itself is very gripping, you are eager read through it. The writing style is neither too formal or informal, but the perfect harmony of both. Some books are a chore to read but this is not one of them. I assure you that it is a pleasure and a joy.

There is magical, enchanting element to this book and it stays with you long after you have finished it. I urge you to go ahead and explore Tally's world.
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on 9 October 2009
Reading the story out loud to my 8 year old daughter at bed time. A bit hard for her to read on her own as sentence construction is quite advanced.
Loving the story and the characters - a little like a cinderella story so far. Description of rain forest scenes is vivid and inspiring - fabulous.
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on 7 December 2014
This is actually 4.5 stars, because the kindle won't let you do halves. This is a great book, with a great storyline, but I think it could have ended a bit earlier (like when Tally and Karil get reunited) and didn't have to have Matteo becoming president of Bergania and stuff. It is for 10-12 year olds (I am 10). My only criticism is that it had missing punctuation, incorrect spellings and words joined together (e.g. "notreally"shesaid.) I know that that is mainly the editors fault but still. Other than that, it was extraordinarilyamazinglygood!
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on 6 March 2010
This is my favourite Eva Ibbotson book by a mile (I even prefer it to Journey to the River Sea!). Ibbotson is an insanely talented writer with the ability to create engaging, memorable characters who really get under your skin, and The Dragonfly Pool is no exception. This book was a joy to read. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a good old adventure story with real depth.
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on 5 January 2012
Tally likes to help people. She didn't want to go to boarding school but the war was coming and she got a scholarship which saved her from the dangers of London's East End. What she found when she arrived was not at all what she had been expecting. She makes friends among a delightful group of misfits, but a chance trip to the cinema with one leads to a driving interest in helping people in the troubled kingdom of Bergania, threatened by the forces of Hitler massing on their borders. What happens next is deftly told by Eva Ibbotson who conjures up visions and characters like Monet conjures up a sunrise.

This is a hugely enjoyable tale of slightly eccentric people who are able to find themselves through some great adventures. Kings and assassinations, emigres living in the past, children living for the future. Dancing and cultural exchanges, train trips through mountainous country pursued by two bears... It's a story that draws you in then takes you on a madcap dash through to the end.

I loved the details of school life, particularly the biology lessons (and the snide remarks about standard biology lessons!) and the housemistresses that were more interested in their own projects. I really enjoyed the twists in the tale that turned a possibly predictable tale into something entirely different. Especially the ending. And I loved the quotation, supposedly from a book of `sayings', that is probably one that I should adopt:

You cannot stop the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can stop them nesting in your hair.

The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson, who sadly died in October 2010 aged 85.
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on 19 February 2016
Eva wrote her books for older children to a formula - circa - orphan girl brought up in a supportive environment of love, hard work, equality and kindness finds herself ripped from those surroundings and on an adventure involving evil people, but the heroine wins through. The moral is always that happiness comes from nature, love, work, equality and kindness, whilst money and power are probably things to shun because of their tendency to corrupt lives, as demonstrated by the villains.

I loved all three books (not a series; can be read independently), but this was my daughter's favourite. They are well written, descriptive, full of interesting characters and have exciting plots. That said I was very disappointed that my daughter (9 years old) failed to finish either The Star of Kazan or Journey to the River Sea explaining they were "too slow". My daughter however loved this book that has more action (assassination and Nazis) and less description and I hope and expect that when she is a little older she will return to the other excellent books. In short a definite for every child's reading list. I would suggest reading age 9 to 90.
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