54 pages 1 hour read

Kenneth Oppel


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2004

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Essay Topics


Matt frequently references being “born in the air” as a reason that he is destined to fly airships. What does the novel suggest about one’s birth determining (or not determining) one’s destiny?


Kate compares lost opportunity due to sexism with lost opportunity due to poverty. Bruce, who also grew up rich, agrees with her. Matt is not as certain. Does the novel suggest that one of these viewpoints is more correct? How are the class barriers Matt faces different from the gender barriers Kate faces?


Matt loves the adventure stories his father told of his travels, but often privately disparages Kate for being too fanciful and treating reality like a story. What does the novel suggest is the role of storytelling in navigating the world? What are the limits of that role?