- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 1070 (What's this?)
- Series: Puffin Modern Classics
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Puffin Books; Reissue edition (April 21, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014240330X
- ISBN-13: 978-0142403303
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 259 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Twenty-One Balloons (Puffin Modern Classics) Paperback – April 21, 2005
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An absurd and fantastic tale. . . . Truth and fiction are cleverly mingled. (School Library Journal)
About the Author
William Pène du Bois (1916–1993) was an American writer and illustrator who is best remembered for his books for young readers. He was one of the founders of The Paris Review and illustrated books by Jules Verne, John Steinbeck, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Charlotte Zolotow, and others. He won the 1948 Newbery Medal for The Twenty-One Balloons and received two Caldecott Honors for his illustrations for Bear Party and Lion.
Top customer reviews
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The story is about a teacher who decided to get away from it all so took a balloon ride. After a crash landing on a fantastical island, he embarks on an adventure where he meets locals who are able to use their time creating imaginative inventions and their own games. There are already detailed descriptions in the other reviews so I'll just end by saying my children loved it - ages 10, 14 and even the 16 year old.
Yes, the leisurely form of government is one of my favorite "practical" ideas ever, but the story also ties together several other interesting things: volcanic explosions, tons of balloons, diamonds galore, Presidential trains, electric rooms and what-not. Even though the introduction tells you the outcome of the story, you still have no idea what's going to happen next. To me, this is the true characteristic of what makes a good novel. You want to read it, even though you already know how it's going to end.
Some Newbery winners I love and some I can't stand. Take a guess as to my opinion of this particular one. There are some parts that I would consider slow, but the emphasis on the importance of leisure actually heightens the slow-moving experience. All in all, the Twenty-One Balloons is definitly worthty of respect and preservation, and I'm glad I was able to make room in my life to experience the fine literary and artistic craftsmanship of William Pene Du Bois.