Sunday, 28 July 2013

Kim's Review : The Star of Kazan

Eva Ibbotson wrote the Star of Kazan in 2004 and it won the Nestlé Children's Book Prize Silver Award (9-11 years category) and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

Although, the Star of Kazan was selected for the Nestle Childrens Prize in the 9-11 years category, the depth of Historical and Cultural information on Vienna under Emperor Franz Joseph makes it a captivating read for older children as well.

The story revolves around Annika who is found abandoned in a country church by 2 housekeepers who adopt her and bring her up in the house of the 3 Professors that they work for in Vienna. Annika does all that normal children do, but also helps around the house. She particularly loves to cook and develops a strong sense of taste and balance at an extremely early age.

Her birth mother comes to claim her when she is almost a teenager and takes her away to their family estate - Spittal, in Germany.

While the initial part of the Star of Kazan describes life in Vienna, the beautiful countryside, the Viennese delicacies, the amazing Spanish Riding School and its horses, the second part shifts the action to Germany which is much bleaker and lonelier. But, the story hurtles forward with a series of twists and turns.

Its a lovely book and well written, so that readers across ages can find something to enjoy in the book. Eva Ibbotson also wrote a couple of adult novels which have now been recategorised and released as Novels for Young Adults. This is just further proof of her appeal to readers of all ages.

Rating : 4 / 5

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