Thursday, April 3, 2014

The 21 Balloons by William Pene du Bois

Every summer I try to take the time to read an old Newbery Medal winner.  This past summer I read The 21 Balloons by William Pene du Bois this book won the Newbery in 1948 and I believe it deserved to win!  Once I began reading I could not put it down.

This is a great story about Professor William Sherman's adventure of flying across the Pacific Ocean.  However it does not quite work out as he planned.  He leaves San Francisco (August 15, 1883) in a balloon and he is picked up three weeks later in the Atlantic Ocean holding onto a raft that has evidence of 21 balloons?! How did this happen?  Once rescued, he travels by train from the east coast to the west coast and has a grand welcoming upon his return to San Francisco.  This is where he finally tells his story.  About his landing on an island and the people he encounters there. The community of people on Krakatoa are unique and interesting.  Some of their homes are unlike anything you have seen or heard about before.  I am sure you will never forget these people, once you read this story.  Professor Sherman's time on a this very special island, Krakatoa, is amazing you just may want to visit it yourself.

After reading this story you might want to find out more about hot air balloons.  Perhaps find a place nearby where you can ride in a hot air balloon and have your own adventure.

Happy Daily Reading

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