Airborn by Kenneth Oppel is a book I had to read and my heart sank when I saw it. I was judging for the Carnegie Medal and it was on the long leet.  This appeared to be yet another sci-fi/fantasy mixture, two of my least favourite genres.  But one of the non-negotiable requirements of being on the judging panel was a commitment  to read everything…

And one should never, of course, judge a book by its cover and when I finally steeled myself to read it, I was enchanted. It’s set in an alternative past (it feels Edwardian) on an airship and tells the story of Kate and Matt who are first-class passenger and crew respectively. It’s a fast-paced adventure but it’s also a character study and has a great supporting cast.

Now, I use this as my example to young people of how the only way you can judge a book is by reading it.  Had it not been for the Medal I’d have missed this entirely.  As it is, I enjoyed it very much and then went on to spend my own money on the other two books in the trilogy!

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