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The Twenty-One Balloons Hardcover – September 14, 1947
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If there was one thing Professor William Waterman Sherman was tired of, it was teaching mathematics to little children. For years and years he'd done it and finally, once retired, he was given a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream. Sherman would outfit himself a fabulous balloon. It would be the second largest ever commissioned and would carry a small wicker house, in which Sherman would be able to sail in perfect peace and comfort.Read more ›
This is a fun book. It tells the story of a retired math teacher, William Waterman Sherman, who builds a balloon to help him get away from it all by spending a year floating through the skies. Instead, he quickly finds himself downed on the island of Krakatoa where he finds a secret colony of people living quite comfortably. He joins them. Unfortunately, in a couple days, Krakatoa erupts, destroying the island almost completely. Fortunately, the colony had prepared for the chance of eruption and everyone is saved.
Published in 1947, this book is filled with a little interesting science and a lot of fantasy. If it has a weakness, it is that this book feels a little more dated than some of the other older Newbery winners. It doesn't feel dated because of its content, however, just its prose style. Its a little formal and relates a post-Victorian view of the world which many young people probably will not understand very well.
Still, I enjoyed this story and the drawings by Mr. DuBois very much. When it comes right down to it, you can hardly go wrong with a Newbery winner. Still one of the best signs of excellence in the world of fiction--for children or no.
Amazon's reviews gave this book glowing praise, therefore, I bought it for my 13 year old grandson. When the book arrived I decided to read a few pages just to make sure it was something he might like. I never put the book down! I read the entire book, being careful not to bend the pages. Oh! what a delightful story. At 59 I was saying to myself, "Well, if he could do that, I wonder if this, or that could be done too?!?!" I knew then that this book was perfect for anyone, young or old. It's an easy to read book, and I'm only sorry I didn't order two, one for me, and one for my grandson!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic child’s book good for pre-teen kids. I read it sixty years ago. I bought this copy for my neighbor’s kid who is nine years old and cannot read. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Dave Yost
An easy and amusing read. After several more intense reads, I am Glad I chose this for my '21' book.Published 11 days ago by Carla Hale
This has got to be one of my favorite childhood books and a favorite of the 1st-3rd grades students I have taught! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ian & Courtney Clifton
The Twenty -One Balloons is a book that follow the story Professor William Waterman Sherman as he recounts his story of how he went from the suitably dressed balloonist with a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Catherine Ashby
This Newberry winner holds up well for its age. The only mistake is the name of the body of water. Good to read again after years of reading aloud to classes and then researching... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Leslie G. Radloff
Imaginative, remember it when I was a younger soul, great fun reading it againPublished 3 months ago by Daniel Yoder