i read this in like sixth grade cuz i had read and liked some of ibbotson's other books like island of the aunts and which witch ... etc. this one didn't really do it for me. i found it pretty dull. the main character annoyed the heck out of me; she was just too dang perfect! i think eva ibbotson has an issue with character flaws. all her m.c.'s are totally perfect, and then she always adds some bratty characters on the side ... there are no in-between characters. it kinda bothers me.