Monster Mission is a fantastic book for children and even young adults. It is a fantasy style story written by Eva Ibbotson and was first published in 1999. The story is 230 pages in length but is split into manageable chapters making it easy to digest and read in small chunks. I think however that most people will find like I did that the book is quite intriguing once you begin and that it is difficult to pull yourself away from it.
Monster Mission tells the story of on Secret Island upon which three aunts are plotting to kidnap three children. The Aunts however are not kidnapping the children for any evil purpose, oh no the Aunts are kidnapping the children simply because the island needs them. The Secret Island in question is a refugee for all kinds of magical and wonderful creatures and although the Aunts are trying their very best there is simply too much work for them and they desperately need children to help them in their quest to protect the mystical creatures that choose to seek out their help.
Picking the correct children however proves quite difficult but eventually two suitable children are found and captured another not so suitable one also falls into their hands and together the three of them are plunged into the most amazing, thrilling and magical adventure of their lives. The not so suitable child is as you can imagine less than pleased to have been seized by the aunts but the other children not so content with their lives are home come to terms quickly with their situation and instead of resenting the Aunts come to respect them and throw themselves whole-heartedly into island life.
Monster Mission is an extremely pleasant book to read. It tells a fantastic story that doesn't only dwell on the idea of creatures being magic and animals that can not only talk but also feel and often act like humans but it also delves into the idea that children only need to know that someone cares for them and that they are needed. This is apparent through the characters of Fabio and Minette, the two suitable children, who find their place on the island swiftly and come to realise how they feel more at home there with the Aunts than they ever did at the place they used to call home.
Ibbotson really has a flare for writing mystical and magical novels and expresses such wonderful ideas in a way I have not read anywhere else. Her description is vivid and full of colour and excitement that lavishly displays her creativeness and magnificent imagination. This in itself is fantastic for children as it allows their imaginations to really flourish and brilliant for the story because it keeps it fresh and entertaining as well as making it breathe in the readers mind and take on a life of its own.
All in all I cannot fault this book. I found it extremely difficult to put down despite the fact that I am eighteen and found that the moment I opened the cover I was buried deep within the story and forgot everything that was going on around me.
This book can be purchased in most good book shops and online and retails around the £5 mark, which I think is excellent value.