I thought The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher was a pretty cute book overall. The story is written by Bill Harley (published by Peachtree Publishers) who is credited as being an excellent family story teller. I do believe I second that!
This is the story of Darius Frobisher whose father went missing in a hot air balloon. Eleven year old Darius is being raised by his father’s housekeeper, Miss Hastings, until the insurance company that his father used to work for decides that the house Darius and Miss Hastings live in needs to be sold and the money put into a trust for Darius to live on when he is older. As a result of this, Darius is sent to live with his Aunt Inga between whom there is no love loss. If not for the hope Darius has of riding a bicycle that he finds in Aunt Inga’s basement back to Miss Hastings, Darius would not have survived his summer at Aunt Inga’s.
With that story line in mind, the book almost sounds like it could be a downer but it truly isn’t. I thought the characters were quirky and wacky enough that it added an element of humor to the plot so that when you might be tempted to feel a bit down, you’d perk right back up. Not only that, but I sincerely appreciated (and applaud!) Harley for continually making the point that grownups are to be valued and respected as being wise — even though the particular ones being represented in this book had some serious character flaws. He could have easily removed all respect from the adult characters but instead encouraged his readers by saying things like, ‘Now you and I both know that normally . . .” but Darius was not in a normal situation and the reader is encouraged to acknowledge that this is a special and unique situation.
The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher is clean (minus the military school mentioned in the book being named “Crapper Academy” which I thought was a bit distasteful), quirky and fun. Harley paints pictures in your heads with his choice of words. He sets scenes up in your minds eye and it’s easy to see this book on the big screen. It’s a little different, a little unique and quite a pleasant read. On the whole, I’d give this book a thumbs up for creativity and imagination.
If you’d like to win a copy, leave a comment here. The winner will be announced on January 7.
The winner of The Tale of Despereaux is #22 Betsy. You should have received an email, but if not, please use our contact form to send us your name and address.
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.