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The Twenty-One Balloons
The TwentyOne Balloons
Author: William Pene du Bois
Professor William Waterman Sherman intends to fly across the Pacific Ocean. But through a twist of fate, he lands on Krakatoa, and discovers a world of unimaginable wealth, eccentric inhabitants, and incredible balloon inventions. Winner of the 1948 Newbery Medal, this classic fantasy-adventure is now available in a handsome new edition. "Will...  more »
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PBS Market Price: $7.59 or $3.69+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780140320978
ISBN-10: 0140320970
Publication Date: 5/6/1986
Pages: 192
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 61 ratings
Publisher: Puffin
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

katieanddustin avatar reviewed The Twenty-One Balloons on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I read this book to my sixth grade class each year when we discuss the Ring of Fire. It amazes me how every student is enthralled by the thought of traveling in a hot air balloon for a year! Without a doubt, their favorite parts are the descriptions of the innovations included in Mr. M's house. With all the technology we possess now, I am amazed at the fact that they think the technology discussed is COOL! I highly recommend this book for anyone with children. It is so imaginative and fanciful. Everyone is sure to get lost in it.
reviewed The Twenty-One Balloons on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This gentle, detailed account of a wild balloon adventure is one of my favorite kids books. Fantastically imaginitive, featuring amazing adventures and a colossal volcanic explosion, it transports the reader to a totally different time and place. A true classic! My husband is reading it aloud to my seven year old, and both are enjoying it very much.
reviewed The Twenty-One Balloons on + 3352 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Newbery Award 1947. This book published 1983. A delightful tale for all ages, written by an author who doesn't take himself very seriously(see his introduction) which makes for a wonderful story.
reviewed The Twenty-One Balloons on + 552 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Tells what happens to a bored old mathematician when he takes a trip across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.

From the Publisher
Professor William Waterman Sherman just wants to be alone. So he decides to takea year off and spend it crossing the Pacific Ocean in a hot-air balloon the likes of which no one has ever seen. But when he is found after just three weeks floating in the Atlantic among the wreckage of twenty hot-air balloons, naturally, the world is eager to know what happened. How did he end up with so many balloons . . . and in the wrong ocean?
Winner of the Newbery Medal

From The Critics
Children's Literature
This Newbery Medal winner was written in 1947 and definitely has the look and feel of another era. Professor Sherman wants to retire from teaching math and travel by balloon for a whole year. His balloon, the Globe, rose quickly and is carried from San Francisco out over the ocean. Sea gulls fighting over food on the top of his balloon punctured it, and Professor Sherman plummets to the legendary island of Krakatoa. How he ended in the Atlantic in a 20-balloon contraption after Krakatoa exploded is what kept a nation transfixed until he could tell his story-but only to the Western American Explorers Club. Numerous drawings by the author accompany the story to help kids visualize the wide range of exotic inventions that are an integral part of life on Krakatoa.
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SusanofGreenGables avatar reviewed The Twenty-One Balloons on + 618 more book reviews
This book is used in Sonlight Core 2.
reviewed The Twenty-One Balloons on + 92 more book reviews
A great Newbery Award-winning fantasy about the island of Krakotoa, hot air balloons, volcanoes, nineteenth-century eccentrics, etc.
reviewed The Twenty-One Balloons on + 8 more book reviews
Newberry Award winner about a disillusioned schoolteacher who sails in a giant balloon across the Pacific and the fascinating adventures which follow...
tamara avatar reviewed The Twenty-One Balloons on + 78 more book reviews
A wonderfully magical, imaginative story about the explosion of Krakatoa. I like to daydream about living in one of the fanciful houses on the island...and I'm a grown up!