Saturday, October 10, 2015

Why You Should Read: The Twenty One Balloons

Half of this story is true and the other half might very well have happened. -William Pène du Bois

Hello, peeps(there's only so many ways to start a blog post)! School has been weighing down my schedule quite a bit lately(for those of you who've done Challenge I, you'll understand), but I did find a pocket of time to jot down a couple thoughts here before rushing back to work on my debate speech.

My posts lately have been dominated heavily by references to books I love. Like the ones I've re-read and talk constantly about. *looks at Lord of the Rings* But, believe it or not, there are plenty of other thoroughly enjoyable titles which just don't manage to surface here.

So to give my other favorite books some attention, I'm beginning a series of blog posts on good, but generally lesser-known books you don't hear about as often from me. These posts should show up, hmmm, lets say once every few weeks. Maybe more often maybe less often.

I'll also add a random pretty picture or two from the stash on my camera just for fun. :)

Today's pick was- The Twenty One Balloons by William du Bois 

What It's About

Professor Sherman, an honorary member of the Western American Explorers Club, embarked on an indefinite vacation, riding in a basket. Suspended beneath balloons.

Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned. Still drifting above the Pacific Ocean, a seagull entangles himself in the silk balloon and consequently punctures a hole, causing air to begin leaking out. After tossing all his belongings overboard, Professor Sherman plummets into the ocean festering with sharks. *cue Jaws soundtrack* :D

However, the professor just scraped the edge of an island, Krakatoa. Crawling to shore, he immediately dropped into sleep. Upon waking, he finds himself in an undiscovered utopia built around an immense store of diamonds.

But of course, a true utopia isn't possible. And thus the conflict.

Why It's Good

It's entertaining for one thing. What with the elaborate(yet not too excessive) descriptions of the society dwelling on Krakatoa, the beautiful illustrations, and humorous dialogue, I never wanted anything to liven the story up.

But even better, it's packed with meaning. Rather like The Giver, Twenty-One Balloons displays the futility of human inventions, pride, and selfishness.

Approximate Age Range: 8+ (Although I think my mom read it to me when I was a bit younger)

Number of Pages: 180

Favorite Character: Mr. F(All the characters living on Krakatoa are lettered.)

So, to conclude it is written for younger kids, but I believe there's lots it has to offer even to teenagers like me. If you've already read it, drop me a comment so we can talk!

Next Book: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare


  1. I'm liking your new header! You took that picture? Nicely done! :)
    I have never heard of this book before, sounds like a good one. :)

    1. Thank you, Morgan! Yes, I did take the picture:)

  2. I should try this one! The quote at the top is pretty awesome, so...;D

    Oh, and I like this idea for a new blog series! I know just how you feel--there are just certain stories that I tend to keep talking about on my blog, but there are so many other "honorable mentions" too, aren't there?

    1. Oh, and Challenge I. Yes. I feel ya there, sista! Wow, I had so many emotional breakdowns when I was doing Challenge I...:P

    2. Yes, there are!

      *sigh* It's good to know I'm not the only one who struggles with it! But it's all good for me, so there's that:D


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