Airman by Eoin Colfer is a young adult novel set in the late nineteenth-century on a small island off the coast of Ireland.  Conor has always known that he was meant to fly, after all he was born in hot air balloon.  Unfortunately, he uncovers a plot to bring down the kingdom and is sent to prison to mine for diamonds.  Avoiding despair, Conor decides that he will not waste away in prison, but will instead fly away and right the wrong from so long ago.  The path he has chosen is not an easy one.  He must overcome many obstacles and unimaginable hardships.  This is a darker tale involving the deceitful and cruel underbelly of society, but a terrific adventure for young adult readers.  There is action throughout the novel and great characters.  The book is recommended for fifth grade and up, but I would say it is more appropriate for seventh or eighth graders due to some of the violence.  However, your more mature reader would be just fine.

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