The Twenty-One Balloons
by William Pène du Bois
5 out of 5 stars
Professor Sherman is sick of teaching mathematics to unruly children in San Francisco, so he decides to take a year-long balloon ride around the world and never touch land in all that time. However, within days his balloon crashes near the mysterious island of Krakatoa, and he discovers the secrets of the island where a most unusual society is flourishing and fabulous diamonds are available to anyone.
This is such a fun and entertaining story! The plot has all these hilarious details all about the reception for Professor Sherman when he returns to San Francisco, his arrangements for his balloon house and how he planned his balloon trip, and the strange society that lives on Krakatoa and how they organize their days. Most of the narrative is explaining things, so there isn’t a ton of action, but the descriptions are so wild and interesting that you never feel bored.
The writing style is really excellent, drawing the reader in with all these funny anecdotal episodes and details. The writing is vivid and concise. I really enjoyed it, and could barely put the book down!
I think one of the funniest things in the book is that Professor Sherman tries to hide that he is a math teacher from the Krakatoans. He doesn’t want to be forced back into teaching after he has finally retired! As a teacher myself, I can understand. haha!
This book is such a delight to read. If you need something short and light-hearted and fun, this is the book for you!