Monday, October 22, 2007

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Imagine Jules Verne sitting down with Robert Louis Stevenson, the folk who worked on Disney's Treasure Planet and Hiyao Miyazaki (the anime version of Howl's Moving Castle)--and coming up with an adventure story that was part historical fiction, part science fiction, and part fantasy. That doesn't actually describe what Kenneth Oppel's Airborn is, but it's close. Matt is a 15 year old cabin boy on a luxury airship (think dirigible or blimp). He's more at home in the air than on solid ground, but his world is about to get shaken up when he meets a young woman who is determined to prove that her grandfather's sightings of large furry flying creatures were not hallucinations. With airship wrecks, pirates, uncharted islands, and mysterious flying creatures (that may or may not exist), this story is a page turner that doesn't need a screenplay to come to technicolor life as you read. This book works for just about any reader, male or female, who likes a good adventure. Many of my high school students are reading this one and being inspired to read more by Oppel. Reading level grades 6 and up.

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