Monday, August 29, 2022

Review of "Buddy and His Flying Balloon," by Howard R. Garis

 Review of

Buddy and His Flying Balloon, by Howard R. Garis

Three out of five stars

Unusual and dated YA adventure

 Some of the YA adventure books targeted at boys that were published in the first half of the twentieth century are unusual and don’t travel well across the years. This is one of them. Buddy is an early teen boy with visions of being an inventor. In this case, he takes a piece of canvas and uses sticks to form it into the shape of a balloon. A local man loans him an actual basket from a balloon and Buddy and his friends are all set to go on imaginary balloon rides.

 When Buddy and his friends spend the night in the balloon basket, they end up having an actual adventure. Professor Higman is a balloonist that flies over during the night and his dangling tow rope catches Buddy’s balloon and carries it along. They end up at the fairgrounds of the next town, where they are of course a sensation.

 The premise that turns the imagination into reality is a bizarre one that stretches your credulity, even for a YA adventure book. That feature and the dialog makes this a book that does not age well and is valuable only for a look back at how adventure stories were crafted before the Second World War.

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