Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 3 - 8Grades 4 - 7n/a5.9n/a
Somewhere in the Atlantic on a mysterious island, three eccentric women care for an assortment of astonishing creatures--not just seals, fish, and gulls, but mermaids, selkies, a couple of ghosts, a very long talking worm, and a boobrie that lays eggs so large, just one will make seventy-two omelets. But caring for so many, even the magical ones, is hard work, and Etta, Coral, and Myrtle are getting older. Perhaps if they kidnapped a few sensible children to help...

Which children the "aunts" choose and what happens to them on the island make for another wildly inventive and funny read by master storyteller Eva Ibbotson.
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published on October 23, 2000 by Dutton Juvenile
ISBN-10: 0525464840
ISBN-13: 9780525464846
1 Book Review
  • zoec9
    zoec9about 1 year55 stars
    Aunt Etta, Aunt Coral and Aunt Myrtle are getting old and can not help with all of the magical creatures of the island like mermaids, selkies, and boobries because take a lot of work. However, they know that they cannot trust other adults to take care of the island and the only way is to train some trustworthy children that can keep a secret as big as the secret island. There is only one problem, the aunts don't have any children to train. The aunts decide that the only way is to resort to kidnapping. So the aunts set of to mainland England and start sorting through children. They quickly learn that most children are horrible, nasty, selfish creatures who don't know how to work at all. The aunts are ready to give up when they discover Minette and Fabio, two children who are clever, hard workers, and, most especially, underappreciated at home. Aunt Etta and Aunt Coral arrive back at the island, having successfully kidnapped their helper and are quickly followed by Aunt Myrtle, who accidently kidnapped a totally unsuitable, horrible monster of a boy. I really like this book and really recommend it.