Sunday, April 29, 2012

Good Guys Win: Ogre of Oglefort

The Ogre of OglefortEva Ibbotson writes several different kinds of books, and I'm a fan of most of them. I like her bulky and serious children's stories, I like her romantic comedies for older readers, and I like her frothy magic stories for junior readers. Seeing an unread book on the "I" shelf made my Reading My Library quest even happier.  The Ogre of Oglefort is one of the juvenile comedies, light, almost frothy books with downtrodden British kids who find magic and also a better life. That's the pattern of this book, with the lonely orphan and the misunderstood princess who have the luck to stumble onto the almost obsolete magical world.

There weren't a lot of surprises for me in this book, but it doesn't really need them. The innovation comes in the details and the brightly painted scenes that makes sense from both sides even when deception or misunderstanding creates very different versions. There are good guys in conflict with good guys, but goodness finds a way through, and then the satisfying good guys against bad guys, with victory going the right way. And yes, there are happy endings for everyone who matters, whether its a cushy retirement or the severing of unhappy family bonds. I'll leave this one out for the kids.

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