Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
Sailing toward dawn, and I was perched atop the crow's nest, being the ship's eyes. We were two nights out of Sydney, and there'd been no weather to speak of so far. I was keeping watch on a dark stack of nimbus clouds off to the northwest, but we were leaving it far behind, and it looked to be smooth going all the way back to Lionsgate City. Like riding a cloud. . . .
Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt's always wanted; convinced he's lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter that he realizes that the man's ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.
In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creates an imagined world in which the air is populated by transcontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies.
About the author
KENNETH OPPEL is the author of numerous books for young readers. His award-winning Silverwing trilogy has sold over a million copies worldwide and was adapted into an animated TV series and stage play. Airborn won a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award and the Governor General’s Literary Award; its sequel, Skybreaker, was a New York Times bestseller and was named Children’s Novel of the Year by The Times (London). He is also the author of Half Brother, This Dark Endeavor, Such Wicked Intent and The Boundless. Born on Vancouver Island, he has lived in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and in England and Ireland, and now resides in Toronto with his wife and children.
JON KLASSEN is the author-illustrator of This Is Not My Hat, winner of the Caldecott Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal, and I Want My Hat Back, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book. He is also the illustrator of Cats' Night Out, which won the Governor General’s Award; The Dark, a finalist for the same award; House Held Up by Trees, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book; Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book; and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, also a Caldecott Honor Book. He created the concept art for Coraline, the stop-motion animated film based on the book by Neil Gaiman. Originally from Niagara Falls, he now lives in Los Angeles.
- Unknown, ALA Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults
- Unknown, Bulletin Blue Ribbon (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
- Unknown, ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
- Unknown, Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award
- Unknown, ALA Notable Children’s Book
- Unknown, New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
- Unknown, Michael L. Printz Honor Book
- Unknown, School Library Journal Best Book
Firewing: “Plenty of rousing action; special effects on a grand scale; a leavening of humor as well as stimulating thoughts.”
School Library Journal
A Good Read AloudI would rate this book at 3.5 stars.
I recently read this to my children (5 and 8) and it went over quite well. It started out a bit slow for them, with lots of descriptions of the airship and its workings, but then the story picked up and moved well from there.
Other titles by Kenneth Oppel
Every Hidden Thing
Every Hidden Thing
Kenneth Oppel - Airborn Trilogy
Airborn, Skybreaker, Starclimber
Kenneth Oppel Silverwing Series: Four-Book Bundle
Silverwing, Sunwing, Firewing, and Darkwing
Kenneth Oppel Airborn Series: Three-Book Bundle
Airborn, Skybreaker, and Starclimber