Thursday, August 25, 2011

The 21 Balloons

The Twenty-One Balloons. William Pene du Bois. 1947. Viking 180 pages.

There are two kinds of travel. The usual way is to take the fastest imaginable conveyance along the shortest road. The other way is not to care particularly where you are going or how long it will take you, or whether you will get there or not. 

I should have believed my mother. She's been trying to tell me that this was a good read for many, many years. And she was right. This is a good read. I'm not sure I'd say it was the best, best book I've ever read. Or the best Newbery I've ever read. But this book is anything but boring! It surprised me in all the right ways.

The hero of this one is Professor William Waterman Sherman. This teacher-turned-adventurer left San Francisco in August of 1883 hoping to spend about a year in his balloon. He'd chosen his design carefully and thoughtfully. And he was so excited at the thought of being away from it all--all the cares, all the stress, all the worries of this world. He wanted FREEDOM and then some. But that wasn't to be...

For an accident leaves him stranded on a "deserted" island. The island's community does NOT want to be discovered by the world, so any visitors are welcomed permanently in the community and renamed. I don't want to give away all the quirks of this one though! But I found this one to be quite a read!

Enjoyable and satisfying...a great way to spend the afternoon.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Melissa (Avid Reader) 3:29 PM  

I loved this book when I was little. It was one of my favorite adventure stories.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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