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Airborn
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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 (UK). Kenneth Oppel is also the author of Half Brother, This Dark Endeavor, Such Wicked Intent, The Boundless, The Nest and Every Hidden Thing. Born on Vancouver Island, Oppel has lived in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, as well as England and Ireland. He now resides in Toronto with his wife and children.

Reviews

Gr 6-10-An original and imaginative Victorian-era fantasy. Matt, 15, only feels alive when he's aloft working as a cabin boy aboard the Aurora, a luxury airship that is part dirigible, part passenger cruise ship. When wealthy Kate and her chaperone come aboard, Matt soon discovers that she is determined to prove her grandfather's claims that he saw strange creatures flying in the sky in that area the year before. The man's diary describes them as huge, furry beasts with batlike wings and sharp claws. Soon after Kate arrives, pirates attack the ship and rob the wealthy passengers. A storm forces the damaged Aurora to set down on a seemingly deserted island. Kate and Matt discover the skeletal remains of one of the creatures, and, later, a live but deformed one that lives among the treetops. In their attempts to photograph "the cloud cat," they stumble upon the pirates' hideout and are captured. Can they escape in time to stop the brigands from stealing the Aurora? Will Kate prove the existence of this undiscovered species? This rousing adventure has something for everyone: appealing and enterprising characters, nasty villains, and a little romance. Oppel provides glimpses of the social conventions of the era, humorous byplay between the main characters, and comic relief in the form of Matt's cabin mate and Kate's straitlaced chaperone. Reminiscent of Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines (HarperCollins, 2003), this adventure is much lighter in tone and has a lower body count.-Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"In crisp, precise prose, Oppel imagines an alternate past where zeppelins crowd the skies over the Atlanticus and the Pacificus, and luxury liners travel the air rather than the sea," wrote PW. "The author's inviting new world will stoke readers' imaginations." Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Firewing: "Plenty of rousing action; special effects on a grand scale; a leavening of humor as well as stimulating thoughts."--School Library Journal

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