William Pene DuBois: The Twenty-One Balloons

The Twenty-One Balloons (Puffin Modern Classics)

“Half of this story is true and the other half might very well have happened.” 
― William Pène du BoisThe Twenty-One Balloons

From Goodreads, 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. “William Pene du Bois combines his rich imagination, scientific tastes, and brilliant artistry to tell a story that has no age limit.” — The Horn Book

 The Twenty-One Balloons was one of my favorite adventures as a child; the book took be all the way to Krakatoa by air balloon.   Du Bois writes this fantastic adventure with such detail that it is hard for the reader not to be immersed in this wild ride. I always was fascinated with how he organized the families that live on the island of Krakatoa in their homes as well as the action that determines the inhabitants’ fate on this island.  If an avid children’s literature reader or middle grade reader has not picked up this book, I would recommend it right away! It is such a great book with details, adventure, and excitement.


William Pene Du Bois was also known for his illustrations, as shown below.  As I discovered, Du Bois teamed up with Roald Dahl to do the original illustrations for the Magic Finger [Check out a review from one of my favorite blogs, Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves.]

1 comment

  1. I have not had the opportunity to read this book but it sound like a great read. I am definitely drawn by the enticing book cover. Thanks for sharing!

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