The Secret of Platform 13 Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Secret of Platform 13

Under Platform 13 in one of London's busiest trains stations is an old, forgotten doorway covered with peeling posters. Little do the Londoners know that behind that door is the entrance to a magical kingdom - an island where humans live in harmony and happiness with mermaids, ogres, hags, mistmakers, etc. The door opens once every 9 years for 9 days and allows magical creatures to revisit old haunts in London and for other creatures to leave London for the island. The baby princes' nannies cannot resist the opportunity to taste fish and chips once again and take just a short visit to London. They run across a beastly woman named Mrs. Trottle who kidnaps the young prince and runs away with him just as the doorway closes for another 9 years. The whole island despairs and waits in mourning for the 9 years to pass for an opportunity to rescue the prince...
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After the nine years is over, four unlikely rescuers: an invisible ogre (except for his eye), a hag (well, she will be one when she is older), a wizard (who is a little older than he should be) and a fey (who cannot understand why Londoners don't wear beetroots in their hats) pass through the doorway to try and rescue the prince. They quickly proceed to the Trottles' house to try and persuade Raymond Trottle to return to the island with them. However, they quickly discover that Raymond is a terribly fat, spoiled and in every way rotten, mean little boy. Who wants to live on island where he is the king? If only the prince could be more like Ben, the kitchen boy...

This is a classic Cinderella type tale where every adult (and most children) will immediately realize what the ending of the book will be. However, the fun part is trying to get to the ending. Eva Ibbotson has packed the book with hilarious characters and little surprises to make this book a fun read for everyone from 5 to 50 years old.
The review of this Book prepared by Debbie

Chapter Analysis of The Secret of Platform 13

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   ruler Spying & Investigations    -   Yes What is main char. doing?    -   rescue mission/escape from confinement Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Kid's book (ages 7-14)

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen


Earth setting:    -   current (early 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death How much dialogue?    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Eva Ibbotson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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