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The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du…

The Twenty-One Balloons (1947)

by William Pène du Bois

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3,285512,551 (4.03)74

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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
A more absurd , inane version of Around the World in Eighty Days. ( )
  tess_schoolmarm | Jul 28, 2019 |
Despite the adventure and fun of this book, it is clearly written in 1947, and yet has the feel of those Jules Verne adventure novels of late 1800s. Less of a story and more of a scientific treatise in narrative format, it follows Prof. Sherman and his Balloon adventures. Most of the book is taken up with Prof. Sherman’s time on the island he crashes on and the explanation by the inhabitants of their inventions. This can get a bit tedious for the modern mind.

I would recommend this for a child (boy or girl) who is mechanically or science minded or who enjoy wild inventions. It is, however, may be a bit slow for the modern child. There is nothing questionable about it (there are no “Happy Native” tropes on the island, and all genders are seen as useful and important) and would make a fun read for an imaginative child. ( )
  empress8411 | Aug 7, 2018 |
Read with Miss8, December 2013 ( )
  cindiann | May 3, 2018 |
This is a science fiction book for readers who don't always love science fiction. Everything is explained, so it seems super realistic! ( )
  MissJ. | Apr 10, 2018 |
I'm going to be the renegade who disagrees with everyone else.
The first chapter or two were promising. A well written, somewhat humorous tale of a man discovered lost at sea in an inexplicable manner, who then refuses to say a word about how he came to be there until he was before his explorers club in San Francisco.
But once Professon Sherman actually begins telling of his adventure, the story plummets downhill at break-neck speed. Every single aspect of his adventure on Krakatoa is preposterous to the degree that my eye-balls hurt from rolling them so far back in their sockets. The idea that 20 families with children would just up and move to an uninhabited volcanic island... the restaurant based government... the endless, tediously explained, absurd inventions... the idiocy of all inhabitants renaming themselves to be letters of the alphabet (the children with numbers added)... the ground that moves about like ocean waves... on and on.
Once the professor begins explaining his adventure, the entire book is a non-stop stream of nonsense.
I have no issue with magic, or silliness, or wacky inventions... but they need to make sense within the rules of the world in which they are set. The Harry Potter universe allows for endless magic (but always with rules), the Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang or Willy Wonka universes allow for crazy inventions. But The Twenty-One Balloons seems to establish itself firmly in the real world, or very close to it, of it's time period, which meant nothing on the island of Krakatoa, socially or technologically, made any sense whatsoever.
That this book won a Newbery award is mind-boggling to me. ( )
  fingerpost | Aug 19, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Pène du Boisprimary authorall editionscalculated
McDonough, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weinman, BradCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my wife with love
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There are two kinds of travel.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:02 -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.

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