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Kid Konnection: No Passengers Beyond This Point

December 4, 2010

Finn, India and Mouse’s father passed away before Mouse was born.  Their mother has struggled to keep things going, but when they lose their house to foreclosure, she decides the best thing to do is to send the kids to live with their Uncle Red in Colorado.  The kids are given two days notice before they’re put on the plane to fly from their home in California to Uncle Red’s in Colorado.  After a very turbulent flight, Finn, India and Mouse find themselves, not in Colorado, but in Falling Bird – a strange land that they find difficult to navigate.

The blurb on the back of No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko compares it to The Wizard of Oz, and I can see why – it’s the story of three ordinary kids who find themselves plunked down in the middle of an extraordinary world with no idea of how to return home.  They encounter all kinds of odd characters and aren’t sure who to trust, but figure out very quickly that they need to work together.

The point of view alternates between the siblings – the narrator is clearly marked at the beginning of each chapter but after a while I could tell who was narrating the story simply from their voice.   I thought each of the siblings was realistic and their interactions with each other were spot on.  The two girls didn’t get along, and poor Finn, the only boy and the middle child, was the peace maker.

I got attached to Finn, India and Mouse right away – they’re good kids, but they’re far from perfect.  I rooted for them as they tried to navigate the mysteries of Falling Bird, but I have to admit that I was a little let down with the ending of the book.  As a fantasy novel, this book is out of my comfort zone, and I found it to be good, but not great.  I think readers who enjoy fantasy will enjoy it more than I did, though.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
23 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2010 5:32 am

    I like the name Falling Bird. What an experience for these two children. Maybe going to such an odd place will help them not to think about the lost of two sibling and a father. Love the review and book.

  2. December 4, 2010 6:23 am

    I wonder what Falling Bird is like now, interesting and it does sound like something I would have enjoyed and still would 😉

  3. December 4, 2010 8:13 am

    I’m also not big into fantasy. But you did kind of make me want to see The Wizard of Oz again!

  4. December 4, 2010 8:27 am

    I love the author – she wrote AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS! I’m not a huge fan of fantasy type books, but today’s kids sure are!

  5. December 4, 2010 9:20 am

    I don’t read alot of fantasy either (very little in fact), but it is nice to see a kid’s fantasy novel that doesn’t involve paranormal elements…
    I thought your review was very fair, something that can be hard to do when reading out of your comfort zone 🙂

  6. December 4, 2010 10:16 am

    I too am not a big fan of fantasy, but I am quite familiar with that middle children dilemma. and oddly enough my name means peace maker. About 9 years ago my two older siblings were battling it out, after seven years of trying to keep peace I said “enough” only God can put these two together. Once I did that, my mind was at ease and God really did put them together, they are each others new best friends. So maybe I need to read this book, for tips you understand. Thanks for your great review.

  7. December 4, 2010 11:16 am

    I’m on that is not into fantasy and my 12 year old isn’t either. I don’t think that this book is one that we’ll pick up. I do want to read the Al Capone books that this author wrote which is more our reading style.

  8. December 4, 2010 11:51 am

    I sounds more “old school” fantasy along the lines of A Wrinkle in Time and less paranormal, which I appreciate. I don’t read fantasy so I don’t think I’d read it but, it nice to know this is out there.

  9. December 4, 2010 12:01 pm

    This sounds adorable. Definitely one I would read. I shall look out for it.

  10. December 4, 2010 12:53 pm

    I’m picky when it comes to fantasy. Sorry this one was disappointing.

  11. December 4, 2010 1:38 pm

    I don’t often read fantasy, but once in a while I enjoy this type of book. Excellent review, Kathy. 🙂

  12. December 4, 2010 2:30 pm

    Fun! I do love a fantasy and so do my kids.

  13. December 4, 2010 2:44 pm

    This sounds like a fun read, but it’s too bad the ending didn’t live up to the rest of the book.

  14. December 4, 2010 5:25 pm

    This sounds so cute and I do love the cover!

  15. December 4, 2010 6:28 pm

    I should get out of my comfort zone and read some fantasy — what does everyone suggest for a newbie like me? 🙂

  16. December 4, 2010 7:51 pm

    That’s a hefty comparison to boot when on thinks of The Wizard of Oz. I read the follow up to The Emerald City of OZ and that book scared me frightfully. The Nome King, the creatures with the wheels as part of their bodies… shivers going up my spine now.

    Going to add your book to my TBR list, just hoping it won’t scare me as much as The Emerald City of OZ.

  17. December 4, 2010 8:21 pm

    She’s a popular author on my shelves…I will add this one to the collection!!!!

  18. December 4, 2010 10:01 pm

    Sounds interesting… Ive always loved Wizard of Oz. Im going to store this away in my memory to pick up sometime!

  19. December 4, 2010 11:22 pm

    I loved the one book I’ve read by Choldenko but I’m not big on fantasy, either. Still . . . it sounds awfully fun.

  20. December 4, 2010 11:58 pm

    I read another book by this author to my children a couple of years back – Al Capone Does My Shirts. I love this type of literature and may have to make it one of our reading adventures. Thanks.

  21. December 5, 2010 6:39 pm

    I bet Melissa would really like this book, as she is an avid reader of fantasy. It does sound like it’s got a really interesting premise and that the children in the story are spot on. Great review on this one, I am glad that you mostly liked it!

  22. December 5, 2010 8:08 pm

    It sounds interesting… I’m looking for something else to read with my daughter while we wait for the new Percy Jackson book. I’ll put it on my list of possibilities.

  23. December 7, 2010 10:02 am

    Interesting choice of Choldenko’s to try her writing hand at fantasy. I’ve enjoyed her historical fiction, Al Capone Shines my Shoes and Does my Laundry so maybe I’ll have to give this one a try!

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