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Month in review

Reviews:

The Bones of Giants by Yoon Ha Lee
Candy and Me by Hilary Liftin
Color is Everything by Dan Bartges
The Dancers' War (in by N. K. Jemisin
Dolphins at Daybreak (Magic Tree House #9) by Mary Pope Osborne
Fairy Hunters, Ink. by Sheila A Dane
Falling into the Sun by Charrie Hazard
Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown
The Frequency of Souls by Mary Kay Zuravleff
The Goddamned Tooth Fairy by Tina Kuzminski
Goldilicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann
Haunted (Mediator #5) by Meg Cabot
Horrible Harry and the Green Slime by Suzy Kline
Hunchster by Matthew Hughes
I Spy School Days by Jean Marzollo
Icarus Saved from the Sky by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud
I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts by Larry Wilmore
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G. K. Chesterton
A Matter of Feeling by Janine Boissard
The Navajo (True Books) by Alice Osinski
The Night Villa by Carol Goodman
No Elephants Allowed by Deborah Robinson
On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
The Others by Lawrence C. Connolly
Painting the Invisible Man by Rita Schiano
Precious Jeopardy: A Christmas Story by Lloyd C. Douglas
Real Sofistikashun by Tony Hoagland
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
The Secret of the Pink Pokémon by Tracey West
The Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright
The Sky Rained Heroes by Frederick LaCroix
Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening by DCS
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène Du Bois
The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint
Winter Walk by Ann Burg

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for the Twenty-One Balloons

The Twenty-One BalloonsThe Twenty-One Balloons: 10/01/09

In The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène Du Bois, Professor William Waterman Sherman, an eccentric retired school teacher is rescued on a raft of twenty-one balloons somewhere over the Atlantic. He had last been seen some months earlier leaving for a trip across the Pacific Ocean in his own carefully designed balloon craft.

Sherman is taken back via train to San Francisco where he will be met with parades and other special events. Although the San Francisco scenes serve as a comedic outline for Sherman's adventures in the Pacific, they make for a fascinating comparison to modern day San Francisco. I kept imagining Gavin Newsom in period duds.

Most of the book though is told in flashback. It covers his flight over the Pacific with scenes that will bring to mind Up (minus the stowaway) and his time on the island of Krakatoa.

Krakatoa of course blew up in 1873 and readers will be waiting to see how Sherman and the families he meet on Krakatoa survive the blast and how Sherman ends up alone and adrift. Before the explosion though, Sherman experiences a food based economy that is supported by a large secret diamond mine.

The inclusion of the diamond mine has caused some controversy for the book over the years. It is superficially similar to F. Scott Fitzgerald's novella "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz." The diamond secrecy though is just one small part of a very creative and entertaining children's adventure story.

The book won the Newberry Medal in 1947.

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Comment #1: Saturday, October, 3, 2009 at 07:15:12

Nicola Manning

It's been a while since I read this but it was a read aloud to my son at the time and I remember it being an absolute favourite for him (and enjoying myself). I'm a big fan of Du Bois as an illustrator as well. I'll often pick up a book just because he illustrated it.



Comment #2: Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 19:44:32

Pussreboots

I'm holding onto the book to read to my son and daughter. I think they will enjoy it too.