This book came into our home because it's one of this year's Red Cedar Award contenders - and so far, it's my daughter's top pick among the selections she's read for the award. Since I was already in the mood for YA fiction I decided to pick this one up soon after she recommended it to me.
Airborn is set in an "alternate earth" where flying ships powered by a gas called hydrium are used to transport people and cargo around the world. Matt Cruse is the cabin boy of a luxury airliner, Aurora. Born aboard an airship, he is literally in his element when he's up in the sky. His ambition to rise from the ranks of cabin boy are set aside for a while when he befriends a wealthy young passenger, Kate de Vries, who drags Matt along on a crazy adventure involving pirates, uncharted Pacific islands, and incredible flying mammals.
This was one of those novels that sucked me in to the point where I didn't really care that I was reading a "kids' book" - it is well written, fast paced and convincing. Watch this space for my thoughts on the sequel, Skybreaker!