The Twenty-One Balloons


This is a wonderful kid's book that I read as a child and just recently finished reading to my son. It is a winner of the Newberry award for children's literature. It tells the story of Professor William Waterman Sherman and his thwarted attempt to stay aloft in a balloon for a complete year so that he can get away from the children that he teaches in a school in San Francisco. His nascent trip is cut short when a seagull plunges through his turn-of-the century rubber and silk balloon. The Professor is sent plunging down to an island in the Pacific as a result.

His real adventure then begins as he discovers a refined society of psuedo-English gentleman who have built a society out of the diamonds that are plentiful in the base of the island's volcano.

The book is full of creative ideas that are explained as if you were reading an engineering text book from the 1900's, complete with engineering illustrations. The island society is clearly supposed to be genteel, but ends up being extremely nerdy in an endearing sort of way. At least endearing to any self-respecting geek.

(Stuff That I've Read For "Fun") Permanent Link made 5:00 PM | TrackBacks (0)

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