‘Beyond Platform 13,’ by Sibéal Pounder & Eva Ibbotson, illustrated by Beatriz Castro.

Sibéal Pounder has imagined what would happen next, following on Eva Ibbotson’s classic tale ‘The Secret Of Platform 13.’ Get ready to revisit The Island Of Mist and its magical inhabitants.

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When Lina was dragged to the train station by her parents to visit her aunt in Salzburg, the last thing she expected was to be whisked away by a blue-booted hag, the famous Odge Gribble.

Lina also definitely did not expected to be bounced along the streets of Vienna in a ghostly carriage driven by a ghostly rat. And she most definitely did not expect to be charged with saving a magical island after a case of mistaken identity!

However, Lina is going to have to harness all her thirst for adventure and love of magic if she’s going to be able to help overthrow the evil harpies who are busily banishing ‘undesirable’ creatures from the island. If she can’t, Odge and her banished friends will lose the island completely.

I have to confess that I hadn’t read Eva Ibbotson’s ‘The Secret Of Platform 13’ before I read Sibéal’s new story, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of ‘Beyond Platform 13’ at all! It’s a gorgeous magical adventure full of weird but loveable characters, truly wicked baddies and heaps of wonderful magical invention.

It must have been very difficult to strike a balance between remaining faithful to the original story which provided the settings and characters beloved by many, whilst including enough new detail to really make the bookmark her own, but Sibéal managed it magnificently! Pacey, humorous and the perfect introduction to not one but two quite fabulous children’s authors.

Now it’s time to hear from the author herself about some of her favourite magical characters:

56AB4757-DFD3-429E-A702-B9641118437ESibéal Pounder’s FAVOURITE MAGICAL CHARACTERS IN MIDDLE GRADE

There are so many magical characters in middle grade to chose from, and when I was little almost all of my favourites were witches. I’ve picked my top five from recently published books –there’s something for everyone!

1. ODGE GRIBBLE FROM EVA IBBOTSON’S THE SECRET OF PLATFORM 13

Odge Gribble first appeared back in the 90s, but as I’ve brought her back in Beyond Platform 13, I think she just about counts as a recent character! Odge is a hilarious hag who looks like a human girl and dreams of having impressive warts and ear hair like her sisters. I love how Eva messes with perceptions of beauty and shows that we can all be made to feel bad about ourselves if we are told there is one way to look.

2. MORRIGAN CROW FROM NEVERMOOR BY JESSICA TOWNSEND

Morrigan Crow is blamed for all the town’s misfortunes and destined to die on her 11th birthday, but a mysterious character whisks her off to Nevermoor to compete for a place in the Wundrous Society. The highly anticipated third book in the series, Hollowpox, is due out next year and Morrigan is still evolving. It’s impossible to speak about her epic magical journey without dropping in a million spoilers. If you haven’t read the books yet – you must!

3. MARINKA AND THE HOUSE WITH CHICKEN LEGS FROM THE HOUSE WITH CHICKEN LEGSBY SOPHIE ANDERSON

The House with Chicken Legs is firmly in my top 10 books of all time. It features Marinka and her house with chicken legs. The house itself is a magical character, transporting its inhabitants to new places when they least expect it. Marinka believes herself to be an ordinary girl living in a magical house, but there is much more to her than meets the eye.

4. FIONN BOYLE FROM CAT DOYLE’S THESTORMKEEPERS ISLAND

Fionn Boyle’s grandfather is the Stormkeeper of Arranmore Island, keeping the island’s magic safe from its enemies, but once in a generation a new Stormkeeperis chosen. The glorious second book in the series, The Lost Tide Warriors, was released earlier this year and the magic of Fionn’s story keeps building and building. I can’t wait for the third installment.

5. CROWKY FROM LAND OF ROAR BY JENNY MCGLACHLAN

I love a good magical villain and McLachlan’s Crowky is up there with the very best. A winged scarecrow, he lives in Roar, a magical world that main character Arthur visits by climbing through a Z bed. Roar is filled with magical creatures and I cannot recommend a visit strongly enough!

Some fantastic book recommendations there! Make sure you pick one to read after you’ve finished ‘Beyond Platform 13.’

Library Girl

*Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for including me in this blog tour*

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