• Page Count: 231
  • Release Date: January 1, 1994
  • My Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

When the beastly Mrs. Trottle kidnaps the prince to a magical island, it’s up to a strange band of rescuers to save him. But can a hag, a wizard, a fey, and an invisible ogre really sneak around London unnoticed?

My Thoughts:


Oh, wow. This was published before Harry Potter… but tell me if some of these plot elements sound vaguely familiar:

There’s a passage under Platform 13 at King’s Cross station in London that opens for a short time every 9 years. It leads to the mist-shrouded island of Avalon where all sorts of magical creatures live. Their baby prince is taken through the passage and kidnapped by a rich, horrid woman who just wants a baby. The boy is lost until the passage opens again 9 years later.

An ogre, a faerie, a young hag, and an old wizard who used to be a professor go to retrieve the boy when he is 9 years old. They find a kind, overworked boy named Ben at the rich woman’s house, but he says he’s not her son (turns out the woman was able to have a kid of her own after all, so she told Ben his parents were dead and neglected him). Ben sleeps in a windowless cupboard and has a miserable home life.

The rich woman’s actual son (Raymond) is super fat, incredibly spoiled, throws tantrums, has two computers, and gets an absurd amount of presents and toys. He goes to the most expensive private school while Ben goes to a local sketchy school. His father is always busy with whatever his company’s latest deal is.

The group of rescuers follow Raymond and his mother to a restaurant where the spoiled kid throws a fit because his Knickerbocker Glory isn’t just right. The rescuers tell Raymond he’s a prince. He tells his mother, who thinks people are out to kidnap him. She takes him away where nobody will ever find him. Some more adventures ensue as everyone tries to rescue the wrong boy. At a party a magical creature gets loose and causes havoc. Ben runs into the dining room to save it and ends up getting hit and floating helplessly above everyone and out of the dining room. The rich woman then makes arrangements for Ben to go to some prison-type school.

The main goal in the story is just to get the young prince back to his people on the magical island. It’s definitely a middle grade story, but was still a really cute read full of imagination! Harry Potter is obviously the better story and ended up being way different, buuuut I still couldn’t help but notice a few small similarities…


4 comments on “The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *