TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Eva Ibbotson

Eva Ibbotson

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in the years before World War II. Her mother was a playwright and her father a scientist, but the marriage was unhappy and they soon went their separate ways. Eva's early childhood was spent shuttling back and forth in trains across Europe, from one parent to the other. When Hitler rose to power, Eva's father went to Great Britain, and her mother, after remarriage to a Russian philosopher, soon followed him. Eva switched languages and spent the rest of her childhood in a progressive boarding school, striving to become British. After taking a degree in Physiology at London University, she went on to do research at the University of Cambridge, but she found the experiments she had to perform on living animals very distressing. The results of her experiments were "peculiar," she relates, so when a fellow student, Alan Ibbotson, suggested she could do less harm to science by leaving it and marrying him, she accepted without hesitation. The couple moved to Newcastle, in the north of England, where they raised four children and Eva began writing short stories. When the youngest son started school, she wrote her first full-length novel for children and continued to write for children and adults alternately, much to the delight of her many readers.

Eva has experienced lots of success over the years, and has been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal with Which Witch? the Smarties Prize with The Secret of Platform 13 and the 2001 Blue Peter Book Award in the Book I Couldn't Put Down category with Monster Mission. Her newest novel, Journey to the River Sea, was runner-up in the Guardian Children's Fiction Award was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award and is currently shortlisted for the Smarties Prize and the 2001 Carnegie Medal.

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