Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple
Oppel, Kenneth.
New York : Eos, 2004
ISBN 0060531800

(4 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk # 1
Matt Cruise didn’t believe in mysterious creatures. He was cabin boy on the Aurora, a nine hundred foot long dirigible-like airship that carried people long distances between cities. Matt loved being airborn. He could name all the constellations and he saw in the stars and on the bridge of the Aurora all the adventure he could imagine.

Matt’s dream was to become a sailmaker. Matt’s father had been a sailmaker. Sailmakers kept the huge hydrium filled airships ready for flying and repaired them if necessary in flight. Sailmakers had real dangers to deal with like pirates and weather.

Then one day Matt helped rescue a crippled balloon and heard the dying words of its pilot. The old man spoke of magnificent creatures, an undiscovered species, he had seen flying around an unknown island. Of course, he was delirious. Matt knew that, everybody knew that. Until a year later when his granddaughter, Kate, showed up as a passenger on the Aurora, carrying her grandfather’s log, and determined to see what he had seen.

When Matt examines the log he finds an amazing, unbelievable story. And he becomes involved in a search for creatures that may rival or surpass anything airborn in his world?

Booktalk by Tom Reynolds, Sno-Isle Regional Library System.  Washington Evergreen Young Adult Book Award nominee, 2006-2007

Booktalk #2

Matt Cruse lives, breaths, and love his life on the airship Aurora…a giant blimp that travels the world, delivering cargo and entertaining wealthy passengers. Though Matt is a lowly cabin boy, he dreams of the day he can follow in his father's footsteps and become a full crewmember. While he is pretty sure he has what it takes to become a sailmaker, he secretly aspires to be Captain one day, leading a crew of his own. What Matt wants is a simple life, with good honest work, and to never have to sleep on the land. Little does Matt know the adventure in store for him, with mystery, murder, pirates, shipwrecks, romance, and a fantastic discovery in the skies.

Booktalk by Dawn Rutherford, KCLS  Washington Evergreen Young Adult Book Award nominee, 2006-2007

Booktalk #3

Are you ready for an incredible adventure? This fantasy book has it all, airship crashes, pirates and murder. Follow Matt Cruse, cabin boy aboard the airship, Aurora and his partner Katie de Vries, a passenger, as they investigate rumors of a beautiful flying mythical creature reported near a deserted island.  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2006-2007)

Booktalk #4

Imagine if air travel was completely different. Instead of flying on an airplane, picture traveling on a luxurious airship powered by a mango-scented gas called hydrium, floating high above the clouds. Matt Cruse, a 16-year-old cabin boy aboard the Aurora, lives in such a world. Matt is the youngest member of the ship’s crew and he dreams of becoming a sailmaker and an officer on his ship. On one of the ship’s routine travels, he spots a balloon in distress, and heroically brings an old man from the destroyed vessel aboard the Aurora. Sadly, the old man dies, but not before telling Matt about wonderful creatures he saw in the sky. The old man also mentions someone named Kate, and how she would have loved to see them.

One year later, a 16-year-old girl comes aboard the Aurora. Although she is pampered and rich, she has a thirst for knowledge and adventure, and she soon makes friends with Matt. As it turns out, she is the same Kate that the old man mentioned, and the old man is her grandfather. Soon Matt learns about the mysterious creatures and their adventures on and off the Aurora bring them in contact with sky pirates, new lands and newly discovered animals.

Is Airborn science fiction? Is it fantasy? Fans of both will find much to enjoy in this story.   (Melissa Bowman,, Armstrong Middle School,  Lone Star Book Award nominee, 2006-2007)

SUBJECTS:   Airships -- Fiction.
                        Pirates -- Fiction.
                        Imaginary creatures -- Fiction.
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