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After years of teaching math to reluctant young students in San Francisco, Professor William Sherman Waterman wants a change. He plans a wonderful adventure: he will spend a year sailing around the world in a giant balloon. With his friends waving good-bye on a sunny day in August 1883, he gently flies his balloon above the rows of city rooftops and floats toward the Pacific Ocean. But only three weeks later, a freighter in the Atlantic Ocean sights a group of 20 destroyed balloons—and the professor clinging to the wreckage. His tale of a marvelous island harboring unbelievable wealth in the Pacific Ocean and a terrifying disaster there stuns the world. Could his incredible report be true? Youngsters—and the young-at-heart—who dream of adventure will love William PEne du Bois' Newbery Medal-winning novel. Packed with richly imaginative inventions and delightful characters, The Twenty-One Balloons is a brilliant mixture of fantasy and fact. So say farewell to your loved ones, as narrator John McDonough takes you on the trip of your life.