Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn. New York: Eos, 2004.
Matt Cruse loves his job as cabin boy on the airship Aurora. One day, he hopes to be a flyer. The excitement of flying is all but routine, until the day he rescues a balloon in distress. In delirium, the balloonist talks about beautiful flying creatures. Matt assumes the fever has confused the old man. Later he meets the man’s granddaughter, Kate. She knows more about what her grandfather saw. Listen to this:
"At the base of the grand staircase, I asked her, 'Do you know what it was your grandfather was talking about?'
She nodded. 'That’s why I’m here. To see what he saw'" (82).
Kate is determined to see the creatures that her grandfather saw. She enlists Matt to help her, but their adventure is not smooth-sailing. They are beset by pirates and shipwrecked.
To find out if they survive their adventure and discover the mysterious creatures, you’ll have to read Airborn by Kenneth Oppel.