Monday, October 6, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Boundless

It’s that time of year again! Book bloggers are getting ready to vote for the best children’s books published between October 16, 2013 and October 15, 2014 for the Cybils Awards. If you’ve read any standouts this year that qualify, feel free to visit the Cybils nomination pages before October 15. I also enjoy checking out the nominations to get ideas for new books to read. 

Another way I find books to read is just by browsing at the public library, both in person and online. I found today’s MMGM by browsing online. The version I read was an e-book. 

Kenneth Oppel
From Amazon:

All aboard for an action-packed escapade from the internationally bestselling author of Airborne and the Silverwing trilogy.

The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life!

When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past.

In order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will’s father and save The Boundless before someone winds up dead?

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, HarperCollins, 2014
My Take:

This was an action-filled adventure that incorporated some elements of Canadian history (e.g, the building of the railway across Canada). I read it fairly quickly because I wanted to see what was going to happen.

It’s fascinating the way this author puts together interesting elements to create excitement in his stories – in this case Sasquatch, a train ride, a circus, the threat of an avalanche and muskeg (that reminded me of growing up in Northern Ontario). From a writer’s perspective, I admired the creativity in the way these different elements were woven together.

Opening Line:

“Three hours before the avalanche hits, William Everett is sitting on an upturned crate, waiting for his father.”

Randomly Selected Quotes:

“He throws his body forward and thrashes wildly, trying to stay atop the churning sea of snow.”

“Long trestle tables run the length of the car, leaving narrow aisles that are crammed with people carrying platters heaving with pancakes and roasted potatoes and rashers of bacon and cornmeal muffins and baked beans and pitchers of milk.”

“The afternoon air carries the cold promise of snow.”

Other Info:

Kenneth Oppel is the author of many books for children and teens, including the Silverwing trilogy and the Airborne series. At around age 12, he decided he wanted to be a writer. He had his first book published at the age of fourteen (with the encouragement of Roald Dahl).

To find out more about Kenneth Oppel and his books, and to see a trailer for The Boundless, visit his website:

Looking for more great middle grade reads? Visit Shannon Messenger's website for a list of bloggers and their picks for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! 


  1. How intriguing that it takes place on a train. I'm also intrigued by the present tense narration. I don't see that as often in MG as in YA (i.e., The Hunger Games). And yes, I've already nominated a few of my favorite books for Cybil awards!

  2. Sounds like a lot going on with this one. I like action packed stories so I'll try to check it out. Thanks.

  3. This one sounds like fun. I will try to check it out. Thanks for the review.

  4. Very interesting! Thanks for the review, I'll keep an eye out for it. Love the quotes you picked.

  5. Sounds like an intriguing adventure! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one.


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