Do you fancy a thousand-mile trip up the Amazon River? Exploring? What do you think it would be like?
'There are huge crocodiles in the rivers that can snap your head off in one bite. Only they're not called crocodiles, they're called alligators because their snouts are fatter, but they're just as fierce.'
'And if you just put one hand in the water there are these piranhas that strip all the flesh off your bones. Every single bit. They look just like ordinary fish but their teeth are terrible,' said Melanie.
Daisy offered a mosquito which bit you and gave you yellow fever. 'You turn as yellow as a lemon and then you die,' she said.
'And it's so hot the sweat absolutely runs off you in buckets.'
'Not sweat, dear, perspiration,' corrected Miss Carlisle.
Fortunately, Maia isn't put off by the gruesome descriptions offered by her classmates, because Maia is the one who is making the journey. She is travelling to Manaus to join her only living relatives, after the devastating loss of her parents in a terrible train accident.
She doesn't have to travel alone though. She is accompanied by her new governess, Miss Minton:
Miss Minton was certainly a most extraordinary-looking person. Her eyes, behind thick, dark-rimmed spectacles, were the colour of mud, her mouth was narrow, her nose thin and sharp and her black felt hat was tethered to her sparse bun of hair with a fearsome hat pin in the shape of a Viking spear.
'It's copied from the armour of Eric the Hammerer,' said Miss Minton, following Maia's gaze. 'One can kill with a hatpin like that.'
When she arrives in the Brazilian jungle, Maia finds she must tread carefully, but it's nothing to do with the plentiful insect life. Her sweetly dressed cousins are venomous, and her aunt and uncle avaricious. But the formidable Miss Minton is a staunch ally, and the Indian servants are loyal and loving. Maia also makes plenty of friends among the European children who live in Manaus, but none so close as the mysterious Finn Taverner, half Indian half European.
As Maia begins to see the jungle through Finn's eyes, she perceives its beauty. So she understands why Finn cannot leave when he is called back to Europe. Finn isn't going anywhere, and neither, it seems, is Maia. Or Miss Minton, for that matter ...
I loved this story. If you enjoy adventures, safe in the knowledge that everything is going to turn out perfectly in the end, then this is the book for you. Highly recommended!
Taylor, girl, age 11, from Windsor, Near London, United Kingdom, on 15th February 2009. Rating: 10/10
I first read this book when I was on holiday in Croatia, it was so gripping that I couldn't put it down, but when I did, the hot sun melted the glue so some pages started coming out because I had propped it in a pointy n shape so that I could keep the page! This is an amazing book, and I have already told lots of people, and they are reading it to! Also, if, like me, you just want more and more, Eva Ibbotson has another book that is quite simular called 'The star of Kazan' which is exellent! Finnaly, read this book, it is the best EVER, and even if you don't like books I can assure you that you will like this book!!!! Read this book!!!!!!!!!!!
Lizzy, girl, age 11, from USA, Bahamas, on 11th February 2009. Rating:
I love the book Journey to the river sea because it is a book of adventure and the author gives many redherrings. I also like this book because it is a very interesting book because it shows how Maia is imagining all the things that the amazon is going to be like and how her two new sisters are going to be like and then when she actually gets there she loves the senery but she really dislikes her new sisters, Beatrice and Gwendolyn. I think that Eva Ibbotson is a great author because she makes her stories magical and exciting. And those are the kind of books that I read.
kattan, girl, age 12, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 9th December 2008. Rating:
I think this is an eciting book!! This book is about an exciting adventure set on the Amazon River in Brazil, known locally as the River Sea. The main character is Maia, an orphan who is sent from school in England to live in Brazil with her only remaining relatives, the Carters. This happens because her parents died in a car accident, so she goes to live with the arters family although she didn't even know them. Maia dreams of having adventures in Brazil and of the wonderful things she will see and the loving family she will have. Miss Minton is the Carter family’s new governess and she travels with Maia on her long journey. They journey by boat and on the voyage become friendly with Clovis, a boy actor who wishes he could return to England. This friendship becomes very important later in the story Maia soon realises that the Carters are not the ideal family she hoped they would be. They don’t like mixing with the natives or eating local food. They want to live as if they were still in England. Maia befriends Finn, a mysterious boy who seems almost native and is hiding in the jungle near her home. She discovers he is heir to a family fortune back in England and is being searched for by agents of his family in Brazil. Maia and her friends must do everything they can to stop Finn being taken back to England with exciting results. : Maia was a person who don´t had a family and she lived in a orphanage. One day she was invited to go to Amazon in Brazil. She would live with Carter´s family, Mrs. Carter had twins. She thought the twins were really nice, but they wasn't. And then the adventure starts... Maia used to leave at England, and she was an orphan. Even though she didn't have parents, she was a happy and girl, but that was WAY before she moved to the Amazon, also known as Green Hell. The Carters, that were from the Amazon, adopted her, because her father had left her a LOT OF MONEY, and that's what they mostly cared about. At least she thought she would have some fun with the Twins(Carters), which seemed to be sweet and lovely, but they ABSOLUTLY weren't; they were cruel, evil and had black hearts (whoah). During her journey she met new and different friends and had many adventures on the green hell, but she also faced huge obstacles. Maia impresses me: she doesn't judge people by what they look, differently from most of the people. She lets diversity take over her life...That's a really really,ABSOLUTELY, sweet thing to do! WAY TO GO MAIA...I hoped people could all act like her!
If you want to buy Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson and help readingmatters, please use these links
Eva Ibbotson has written other books. You might like to look at this one:
There are plenty of references to Little Lord Fauntleroy in Journey to the River Sea. Little Lord Fauntleroy is a book by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Maia herself is also rather like the main character in another book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, called A Little Princess. If you enjoy Journey to the River Sea, I think you might also enjoy any of these books:
If you love exploring strange, far-off lands, I think you will be thrilled by this story by Geraldine McCaughrean:
If you are looking for a book with a slightly old-fashioned feel to it, I think you might enjoy this rather puzzling story by Joan G Robinson:
Or you could try this gentle classic surprise love story by Jean Webster: