Author: William Pène du Bois
Publication date: First published in 1947
Rating: 5/5 stars
Professor William Waterman Sherman intends to fly across the Pacific Ocean. But through a twist of fate, he lands on Krakatoa, and discovers a world of unimaginable wealth, eccentric inhabitants, and incredible balloon inventions.Winner of the 1948 Newbery Medal, this classic fantasy-adventure is now available in a handsome new edition.
I know what you're thinking: THAT BOOK LOOKS SO OLD, JUST LOOK AT ITS COVER! And yes, it is an old book (Hello, 1947) but that does not mean its value has faded. So stick with me as I tell you more about this oddly interesting story.
The Twenty-One Balloons follows Professor William Waterman Sherman on his journey across the ocean, as he struggles to find peace and contentment inside his big air balloon. An unfortunate turn of events makes him land on Krakatoa, a weird place with even weirder rules and quite some interesting characters. If that sounds crazy to you, it is, which is why I found this book to be very charming.
The story is unbelievable, but that's what separates it from other books. Who would ever imagine that a seemingly uninhabitable place would have so much wealth? If reading nearly impossible stories is not your thing, then maybe this isn't for you. But for those who have adventurous hearts, I can promise you that you will fall in love with this book. It is filled with strange places, interesting characters that make you do a double take, and it introduces you to a way of life that may seem odd at first glance.
It is narrated with so much enthusiasm, as if you were reading through Professor Sherman's point of view. I think that its tone definitely made the story more gripping. The story is fast-paced, too, which is good, and it makes it a short read. I don't believe that this story needs to be longer, anyway. It's perfect just the way it is.
The Twenty-One Balloons will challenge your imagination and push your level of belief in the extraordinary. Read it for adventure and light humor.