6 out of 10 stars.
William Pene du Bois was awarded the Newbery Medal for this story in 1948.
It's clever, scientific and full of modern technology... for the 1940s.
This just wasn't my favorite. If you're more of a balloon enthusiast than me, you might really get into it. The main character is Professor William Waterman Sherman, a retired math teacher who leaves San Francisco in a hot-air balloon he intends to fly across the Pacific. Instead, he lands on Krakatoa, an island with strange inhabitants and goings-on.
I couldn't wait to finish, so I could get on to something I would REALLY enjoy.