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The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du…

The Twenty-One Balloons (original 1947; edition 1986)

by William Pene du Bois

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2,310402,746 (4.05)52
Title:The Twenty-One Balloons
Authors:William Pene du Bois
Info:Puffin (1986), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:children's books, Your library
Tags:children's, fiction, Newbery, hot-air balloons, treasure, diamonds, San Fransisco, islands, balloons, unread

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The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène Du Bois (1947)

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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Got from Audible. a little absurd, glad I finally got around to reading it. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Five stars as a childhood memory, three stars as an adult read. As a child, this was one of my favorite books, because of the fantastical story and because of the memorable illustrations. I re-read it many times, and remembered it very fondly. This year, during a difficult period, I decided on an another re-read, hoping to slide back into a dearly remembered fictional world. But what charmed me so as a child was less engrossing as an adult. In part, the frequent technological digressions seemed dull. In part, a bit of political correctness may have been in play (all those Europeans!). In part, the fact that only the central character was in any sense a personality -- or perhaps more accurately a Victorian stereotype -- was a negative. So, I discover that what entranced me 60 years ago doesn't really entrance me now! Wow!! I shall still try it on my 11-year old niece: at present, her opinon of it is a lot more relevant than mine. ( )
  annbury | Nov 20, 2013 |
Re-read. I liked it as well the second time as I did the first, many years ago. It's light, frothy and fun, with lots of technical ballooning and geographical pieces stirred in. Some of these are obviously lectures, some are seamless parts of the narrative. I didn't warm to the people. And I wonder, idly, what else was in the running for the Newbery that year.

ETA: I looked, and [b:Miss Hickory|1041101|Miss Hickory|Carolyn Sherwin Bailey|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1349037790s/1041101.jpg|2363956] is the only one of the Honor book from '47 I have read.

ETA: Wendy commented that Miss Hickory won in 47, and this won in 48. So I looked again, and this book won over [b:Misty of Chincoteague|17461|Misty of Chincoteague (Misty, #1)|Marguerite Henry|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1348751818s/17461.jpg|847402] which just goes to show that I know nothing about how books are picked for the Newbery. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
I would have given this book another star if it hadn't been for the couple of instances where the author's racism comes through. (I realize that the book is written in 1947 and set in the late 1880s. But still...) Other than those, it's an entertaining read and a really interesting take on what a society would look like if everyone worked together to take care of each other's needs rather than slaving away at a job to eke out an existence. ( )
  VikkiLaw | Apr 4, 2013 |
Title: The Twenty-One Balloons
Author: William Pene duBois
Genre: Young Adult

Challenges: 101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge, The Naming Convention Challenge, Book Around the States Challenge, Read and Review Challenge 2010, 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge, 100 Reading Challenge, Young Adult Reading Challenge, YA Through the Decades, Audio Book Challenge 2010, Pages Read 2010, A to Z challenge, 1001 Childrens book Before I Grow Up

Rating: 4/5
No. of Pages: Audio (192)
Published: 1947 ( Newbery Medal)

Back Cover: After years of teaching math to reluctant young students in San Francisco, Professor William Sherman Waterman wants a change. He plans a wonderful adventure: he will spend a year sailing around the world in a giant balloon. With his friends waving good-bye on a sunny day in August 1883, he gently flies his balloon above the rowas of city rooftops and floats toward the Pacific Ocean.

But only three weeks later, a freighter in the Atlantic Ocean sights a group of 20 destroyed balloons – and the professor clinging to the wreckage. His tale of a marvelous island harboring unbelievable wealth in the Pacific Ocean and a terrifying disaster there stuns the world. Could this incredible report be true?

Mine: Just like the days of Around the World in 80 Days – the balloon is the key point of the story. The Professor can hardly wait for retirement, when he can leave on his long balloon ride. His plan is to stay in the air for a year, unfortunately he doesn’t make it and lives on an mysterious island with a world of it’s own.

When the island suffers a great volcano eruption, he is sent on his way so that he can tell the story of the island and it’s riches.
( )
  suefitz1 | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Pène Du Boisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McDonough, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The ISBN 0140303588 belongs to Ruth Sawyer's Roller Skates, not The Twenty-One Balloons.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140320970, Paperback)

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. "William Pne du Bois combines his rich imagination, scientific tastes, and brilliant artistry to tell a story that has no age limit." -- The Horn Book

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:24 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Relates the incredible adventures of Professor William Waterman Sherman who in 1883 sets off in a balloon across the Pacific, survives the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa, and is eventually picked up in the Atlantic.

(summary from another edition)

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