Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kenneth Oppel Gives YA Readers Boundless Adventure on The Boundless!

He's grubby. His hair needs a wash. He's not sure, bnt
he might have lice again; it's itchy back behind his
ears. In their rooming house, the single bath was in
high demand last night, and Will didn't get a turn.
He looks at the track, gleaming as tough it has just
been set down. Will imagines his father helping lay
those long measures of steel. He follows the track west,
where it's quickly swallowed up by dense, snow-
cloaked forest. His eyes lift to the towering mountain
like the very world has raised its gnarled fists to keep
you out. How could you cut a road through such wilds?
...That's the direction his father will come from...
I had always wanted to travel by train across the country but things just never worked out. I'm not quite so sure after reading about the early times in The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel... It wasn't an easy trip--rather a great adventure! And the main characters are two young teens who are up to their ears in troubbbbbble!

Will Everett's wish was for an adventure, so he got his wish! Right under the nose of his father, who was driving--acting as engineer--for the train during this important trip...

But let's go back to how that was possible. Will had once again gone to the train tracks, hoping that today might be the day his father'd come. If not, he'd come back tomorrow...

While he was waiting, he was also drawing...and soon had somebody watching him...And a friendship began with a young girl... Although neither knew that...

The Boundless
By Kenneth Oppel

Just as fast as they were working to build the train tracks--that's how fast the pace of this novel is! Before long, Will had met the manager of the railroad that was being built and was on his way with that individual, Cornelius Van Horne. He knew Will's father and took a liking to Will himself...and, as they say, the rest is history...at least in this novel! LOL Because Will was right there when they were ready to celebrate the last spike going in... And don't spread it around, but it was Will who saved the day and actually pounded that spike completely in the ground!

She's the most powerful engine in the world,"
Will's father tells the reporters. "She'd pull
the moon right out of orbit if we could get a
tether on it. As for her length, if you care to
walk from locomotive to caboose, it's more than
seven miles. According to our manifest, we have
6,495 souls aboard for the journey..,
It wasn't a surprise when Will and his father were scheduled to be on the first trip of The Boundless! Will's father had been given additional duties and had quickly moved up to provide more support to Van Horne...

I was completely surprised when the length and variety of accommodations were provided...The rich...the swankiest, of course, all the way down to the caboose and those who could barely pay the cost... It was now three years later and over 6000 individuals were to travel on the maiden ride... Quite a bit has changed, Mr. Van Horne had died...but he was still on the train!
 He had planned for his body to ride with the train... It carried many valuables he wanted to have surround him on his endless journey... It's was Will's father to whom Van Horne gave the responsibility for this trip and more later on...

And then the greatest surprise of all for me was that a circus was riding on the train! And a good thing, because it was an elephant that saved his life...that time... You see, Will was so excited about being there that he was determined to visit every place he could. But surely, you've already guessed that there were those on the train that had their eyes set on making money--either small amounts by selling foods, soap and other necessities on the train where it was not available... All the way up to a desire to steal the golden spike, with diamonds, that was said to be buried with Van Horne!
He shuffles toward it. He really does feel
like a tightrope walker now. Something
thick and rough brushes his ankle. With a yelp he looks down and sees it slither past his leg and disappear into the darkness of the hole. A hot whiff of animal rises up to him. He moves as quickly as possible but suddenly a shape undulates before him like a giant cobra. It sways, its head a toothless gaping hole, and sends a snort of rank air into his face. Will staggers and falls. His hands uselessly claw the empty air-- And the dark snake hooks around his waist and plunges him through the hole in the boxcar roof. Even as Will hollers, he's aware of some vast shape in the darkness, and he understands finally that his creature twisted around him is no snake but the trunk of an elephant...
 Will was on his first trip across the train top when he met one of the brakeman who work to ensure safety of the train...including keeping children from running on the top of the train...LOL Plus part of the reason he was looking around was to finally find Maren--remember the girl who he'd met way back...Well, she's a circus performer and was part of the first night's entertainment!
 Mr. Dorian and Maren were scheduled to present shows in each of the different sections of the railroad and, soon, with Maren's talking about Will's artwork, Mr. Dorian had asked him to participate...   Will had remembered he seen Mr. Dorian when they were just finishing up the final work on the trains... And what he had taken with him when he left... Yes, a young Sasquatch had been captured and was now part of the circus as well...In fact, you could say when he was grown,
he had become a star character in this story!

I wish I could continue to tell you more of what goes on...but just can't do it!

This book is so exciting, but is quite well written for young adults and those of us, like me, who enjoy adventure stories, the circus, and even the Sasquatch in the appropriate setting as they travel along across our great country!

Allllllllll Aboard for a Must-Read!



Kenneth Oppel is the author of numerous books for young readers. His award-winning Silverwing trilogy has sold over a million copies worldwide, and been adapted as an animated TV series and stage play. Airborn was winner of a Michael L Printz Honor Book Award, and the Canadian Governor General's Award for Children's Literature; its sequel, Skybreaker, was a New York Times bestseller and was named Children's Novel of the Year by the London Times. He is also the author of Half Brother, and This Dark Endeavor, a prequel to Frankenstein. His most recent book is THE BOUNDLESS, a thriller set aboard the longest, most magnificent train ever built. Born on Vancouver Island, he has lived in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, England, Ireland, and now lives in Toronto with his wife and children.                                                           

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