After a particularly busy and stressful week, I was coming down with a nasty chest cold, so I brewed myself a pot of peppermint tea and went to the crate that holds our library books. Nothing quite suited me, until my eye fell on a little title that I had picked up on a whim the week before. The book was called The Secret of Platform 13. I had first heard of the author from the lovely Penderwicks. Jane, the middle sister, loved books by Eva Ibbotson, so I decided that I needed to read at least one of her books. Sure enough, Jane's book recommendation was true and I like to think that The Secret of Platform 13 was what put me on the road to recovery.
The Secret of Platform 13 is the story of four very different magical creatures who come from a magical island that can be reached every 9 years for 9 days going through on the abandoned Platform 13. On this island, harpies, ogres, feys, and witches live together in harmony, but there is one little twinge of sadness. The human king and queen lost their son 9 years ago when the prince's three nannies lost him to an evil kidnapper named Mrs. Trottle. So, an ogre, a little hag (our heroine), a very old wizard, and a fey travel through Platform 9 thirteen years after the boy was kidnapped to save him. They discover, much to their horror that the boy who is the prince is quite awful and the boy that they wish is the prince is only a kitchen boy.
This story reminds me of Roald Dahl, E. Nesbit, J.K. Rowling, and other British magic-writers. I highly recommend this gripping, yet gentle little story for any age.