Sailing toward dawn, and I was perched atop the crow's nest, being the ship's eyes. We were two nights out of Sydney, and there'd been no weather to speak of so far. I was keeping watch on a dark stack of nimbus clouds off to the northwest, but we were leaving it far behind, and it looked to be smooth going all the way back to Lionsgate City. Like riding a cloud. . . .
Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt's always wanted; convinced he's lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter that he realizes that the man's ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.
In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creates an imagined world in which the air is populated by transcontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies.
About the Author
Kenneth Oppel is the author of Skybreaker and Airborn (winner of the Governor General’s Award), as well as the Silverwing Saga (Silverwing, Sunwing and Firewing), which has sold over one million copies worldwide and has won numerous prizes, including the Mr. Christie’s Book Award and the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award, as well as many children’s choice awards across the country. His other titles include Peg and the Whale, Dead Water Zone and The Live-Forever Machine. Voted children’s author of the year by Canadian booksellers in 2006, he lives in Toronto with his wife and three children. You can find him online at kennethoppel.ca and on Twitter at @kennethoppel.
Firewing: “Plenty of rousing action; special effects on a grand scale; a leavening of humor as well as stimulating thoughts.”
— School Library Journal
Bringing to vivid life a realistic tale of homelessness & poverty. debut novelist Marie Miranda Cruz introduces us to feisty, resilient 12-year old Nora, who lives with her mother in her father's grave crypt in the Philippine capital of Manilla. The truly harsh elements of survival and hunger are coupled with the kindness and community that Nora finds while searching for her mother, who has inexplicably gone missing. There are some scary elements such as beatings & kidnapping and young readers may flinch when confronted with these, but Cruz' memorable title character is so worthy of compassion, you will be rooting for her the whole way to the satisfying ending. This novel is a true gem and one that should be read and discussed. I loved the interspersed Tagalog words (glossary in back) and additional teachers guide. Exceptional for ages 10 and up. - Maureen