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The Boundless Hardcover – April 22, 2014
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An Amazon Best Children’s Book of the Month, April 2014: Mirroring a slice of actual railway history, the Boundless is a train of epic proportion, an eccentric visionary’s dream made real by the sweat and lives of many. The book's protagonist, Will Everett, is a young man who yearns for adventure, finding it first when he participates in securing the final spike of the Boundless’ tracks and years later on her inaugural voyage. By the time the train leaves the station, Will’s family has literally gone from rags to riches, and he finds himself responsible for keeping a special boxcar’s treasures safe from thieves who will stop at nothing—even murder. Along with his friend Maren, an escape artist with the traveling circus onboard, Will realizes untapped bravery, loyalty, and friendship that help him face a multitude of dangers. The Boundless successfully mixes history, folklore, and imagination into a sweeping adventure story that is a delight to read.---Seira Wilson
From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—All aboard for an exciting tale of steam-powered automatons, a bloodthirsty sasquatch, colorful circuses, and magical paintings. Aspiring artist Will Everett knows he's not cut out to follow in the footsteps of his railroad manager father, but his pampered life leaves little opportunity for adventure. Then he boards The Boundless, the world's largest and most luxurious train. After acquiring the key to the railway owner's funeral car, Will is running for his life, pursued by deadly enemies who will do anything to possess the car's valuable contents. He is rescued by Mr. Dorian, ringmaster of the famed Zircus Dante, and an escape artist called The Miraculous Maren. These two performers, however, have their own secret agenda for helping Will. As The Boundless thunders toward its destination, Will must decide who to trust, if anyone. Along the way, Will is on the adventure of a lifetime. With its imaginative plot, cast of colorful, well-rounded characters, and nonstop action, Oppel's latest is a delight to read from the first page right through the satisfying conclusion. Take note: This book will be popular!—Alissa J. Bach, Oxford Public Library, MI
Top customer reviews
There have been reviews that say the book had sex in it. Not that I remember. There's blushing and bare shoulders, both of which are appropriate for middle school students. Did I miss something? I recall the main characters don't have anything more going on than a crush---again appropriate for middle school children.
There was a review that mentioned the word fecking. Fecking is considered a mild swear word in Ireland. It's a minced oath, much like dang or heck. Yes, it is a minced oath for "the f-word," but this provides parents a good opportunity to have a meaningful discussion with their middle school child about *their* family values--what is appropriate for them to say---and the difference between what you read and what you say or do.
Now--looking at the book for children aged 11-13----- by the time kids get into middle school, many use words like hell---even if their parents don't know about it. And even if they don't use the words themselves, books that do not use appropriately authentic language are largely left unread. Children can spot phony a mile away. "Golly, Gee Willikers!" (Just to show how language evolves, gee was a minced oath at one time)
But once again, in my opinion the publisher set the target audience too young. The book is a well written middle school book, incorporating Canadian history and folklore into a train adventure that both boys and girls can enjoy.
Oppel takes us back into his wonderful world of steampunk and this time its not about giant airships, but the other greatest way to travel; a giant train! what a fantastic story this is. full of suspense and mystery and adventure, Oppel manages to include everything one could want in a train adventure. this book has great description and makes the reader wish he or she was also aboard the Boundless, surely the coolest train in literature.
also, its written in present tense, an interesting style and a nice change from most books that write only in preterit. William Everett is a very relatable character, genuine and courageous, as well as compassionate and heroic, similar to Matt Cruse (Airborn) with a started-from-the-bottom attitude that allows him to relate to others.
its a must-read, and I've told friends to read it, and even if you don't like steampunk or (God forbid) don't like trains, its a wonderful story and you wont want to stop reading.
My nine-year old boy and I read this as our bedtime book and both enjoyed it.
Most recent customer reviews
Every now and then, I read a children’s novel that not only succeeded for its young target audience but would interest and...Read more