The Secret of Platform 13
written by Eva Ibbotson
The Secret of Platform 13 is the book everyone reads once they've finished Harry Potter and are dying for more. I first read it in a 4th grade book club, complete with brownies and all, in which I thought it was a good read, but entirely too forgettable. I still do think that Which Witch? is Ibbotson's best work by far, but this story is an engaging one as well. I could go on and on with the plentiful and slightly obvious Harry Potter parallels, so I'll spare you for now. I recommend this quirky read for children, but with slight caution. The description gets heavy at times. There is almost no in-depth characterization, with a large cast of characters that can get confusing. Worst of all, though, is the extreme predictability. The other things are minor aspects, they are obstacles that are easy to get past. It's just slightly disappointing to see that what you thought would happen from the very begin, does end up happening, no twists or anything to make it even the slightest bit more interesting than you thought it would be. This isn't to say that it's not a good read, or a boring one, just that there are minor things that might get irritating.