It is 1910 and Maia, tragically orphaned at 13, has been sent from England to start a new life with distant relatives in Manaus, hundreds of miles up the Amazon. She is accompanied by an eccentric and mysterious governess who has secret reasons of her own for making the journey. Both soon discover an exotic world bursting with new experiences in this highly colourful, joyous and award-winning adventure.
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Sent in 1910 to live with distant relatives who own a rubber plantation along the Amazon River, English orphan Maia is excited. She believes she is in for brightly colored macaws, enormous butterflies, and "curtains of sweetly scented orchids trailing from the trees." Her British classmates warn her of man-eating alligators and wild, murderous Indians. Unfortunately, no one cautions Maia about her nasty, xenophobic cousins, who douse the house in bug spray and forbid her from venturing beyond their coiffed compound. Maia, however, is resourceful enough to find herself smack in the middle of more excitement than she ever imagined, from a mysterious "Indian" with an inheritance, to an itinerant actor dreading his impending adolescence, to a remarkable journey down the Amazon in search of the legendary giant sloth.
Eva Ibbotson, author of Dial-A- Ghost, Island of the Aunts, and other positively delightful and droll fantasies, won a Gold Award for this book in the 2001 Nestlé Smarties Book Prizes. Likable heroines, loathsome villains, and splendid adventures—-along with Kevin Hawkes's appealing ink illustrations--make Ibbotson's novels a must for every bookshelf. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie CoulterAbout the Author:
Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, but when the Nazis came to power her family fled to England and she was sent to boarding school. She became a writer while bringing up her four children, and her bestselling novels have been published around the world. Her books have also won and been shortlisted for many prizes. Eva died peacefully in October 2010 at the age of eighty-five.
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