AirbornBook - 2004
Imagine a past in which airplanes have never been invented and giant airships rule the skies. Matt Cruse is the cabin boy of the Aurora, a 900-foot luxury airship that ferries wealthy passengers around the globe. On a crossing of the Pacificus, he helps rescue a dying balloonist who tells him of beautiful creatures in the clouds. It is only after Matt meets Kate de Vries, the balloonist's granddaughter, that he realizes the man's ravings may have been true. But when pirates board and scuttle the Aurora, Matt and Kate's search for the truth takes a frightening new turn.
Winner of the Governor General's Award for Children's Literature and many other national and international honours, Kenneth Oppel's tale of airships and adventure is an instant classic of richly imagined fantasy, a novel for readers of all ages.
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Matt Cruse is a cabin boy aboard the luxury passenger airship Aurora when the ship encounters a battered hot air balloon with an unconscious man aboard. Before dying, the man claims to have seen beautiful creatures swarming in the air over an uncharted island. Not until a year later, when Matt meets the man's granddaughter, Kate de Vries, who boards the Aurora, does he learn that the man wasn't hallucinating. Pirates board, rob, and kill, and a fierce storm grounds the Aurora on the very island that Kate's grandfather spoke about--which proves to be the pirates' secret hideaway. Though readers will need to suspend disbelief of the mysterious flying creatures, which Matt and Kate call cloud cats, details of life and work aboard the ship as well as the dramatic escapade itself make this a captivating read.
Airship travel during the Victorian era. Imaginary, uplifting, fun adventure story. Suitable for all.
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