Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 7 to 12
In Airborn, enter a past in which airplanes have never been invented, giant airships rule the skies and the glittering skyscrapers of Lionsgate City, Canada’s greatest metropolis, rise near the Pacificus Ocean. When Matt Cruse, the cabin boy on the luxury airship Aurora, fearlessly performs a dramatic rescue to save an old man from his damaged hot air balloon, he doesn’t know what events he’s setting in motion. Will he and the balloonist’s fiery granddaughter, Kate de Vries, be able to solve the mystery of impossible flying creatures seen among the clouds? And will they figure it out before pirates and shipwreck end their voyage forever?
Pushed high into the sky by a storm over the Indian Ocean, the decrepit training ship Flotsam makes an astonishing discovery before being forced to descend. Adrift at 20,000 feet is a tattered, ice-crusted airship bearing the name Hyperion. Could it really be the legendary lost craft, now a vast treasure and a frozen mausoleum to a ghostly crew? Matt Cruse is the only member of Flotsam’s oxygen-starved crew able to remember the ghost ship’s coordinates—and it seems as if everyone in the fabulous city of Paris wants them. In Skybreaker, Matt and Kate de Vries are challenged with another thrilling adventure, this time among the icy dangers and strange wonders of the upper atmosphere.
At long last, Matt Cruse is at the helm. Though it’s only a summer job piloting a humble aerocrane, he’s thrilled to be helping to build the Celestial Tower, Paris’s extraordinary gateway to outer space. But Matt’s idyllic summer is short-lived. He narrowly survives a deadly attack by the fanatical Babelites, who are opposed to humans reaching the heavens. Worse still, his nights spent stargazing with Kate de Vries must end when she’s summoned back to Lionsgate City by her parents. But then the chance of a lifetime boosts Matt’s hopes of being airborne once more. Canada wants to reach space first, and the Canadian Minister of Air has asked Kate to join the first expedition as an expert on aerial zoology. There’s a place for Matt, too—if he can pass the gruelling tests to become one of the world’s first astralnauts on board the incredible ship Starclimber.
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.
Other titles by Kenneth Oppel
Every Hidden Thing
Kenneth Oppel - Airborn Trilogy
Airborn, Skybreaker, Starclimber
This Dark Endeavor
Kenneth Oppel's The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein: Two-Book Bundle
This Dark Endeavour and Such Wicked Intent Plus Mary Shelley's Frankenstein