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Summary Windblowne

Ome one of the legendary fliers of WindblowneThen his great uncle vanishes during a battle with mysterious attack kites kites that seem to fly themselves All that remains is his prize possession a simple crimson kite At least the kite seems simple When Oliver tries to fly it the kite lifts him high above the trees When he comes down the town and all its people hav. Okay after reading Windblowne by Stephen Messer now I really want to go an fly a

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A high flying fantasy adventure that will blow readers awayEvery kite Oliver touches flies straight into the ground making him the laughingstock of Windblowne With the kite flying festival only days away Oliver tracks down his reclusive great uncle Gilbert a former champion With Gilbert's help Oliver can picture himself on the crest launching into the winds to bec. In the town of Windblowne kite flying is no hobby It’s an obsession It’s an a Petit livre de - Chocolat, etc. champion With Gilbert's help Oliver Chic, du chocolat ! can picture himself on the Petits desserts au Nutella crest launching into the winds to bec. In the town of Windblowne kite flying is no hobby It’s an obsession It’s an a

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E disappeared Suddenly the festival is the last thing on Oliver's mind as he is catapulted into a mystery that will change everything he understands about himself and his worldInspired by the work of Diana Wynne Jones debut author Stephen Messer delivers a fantasy book for boys and girls in which the distance between realities is eual to the breadth of a kite stri. Windblowne by Stephen Messer Kites with personalities Evil kites that hunt and m

10 thoughts on “Windblowne

  1. says:

    2010 was not a great year for fantasies Sure there were plenty of books that contained small fantastical elements but titles that plunged the reader into entirely different worlds with their own set of rules and understandings? Few and far between I blame the absence of Frances Hardinge Fortunately for everyone there was Stephen Messer's Windblowne to fill an otherwise gaping void Here you have a book that takes world building to a whole new level And Messer isn't content to build only one world but several not a single one anything like our own If sentient kites and evil twins are up your kid's alley prepare for a soaring diving crazed and thoroughly enjoyable ride into a place where priorities are strictly of the air based varietyOliver's a pretty easy kid to figure out Basically he just wants one thing to be a champion kite smith The kind that builds brilliant kites and wins competitions with them with ease In Windblowne all the kids are kite crazy and Oliver's no exception The rub? He's probably the worst kite builder and even worse flyer anyone has ever laid eyes on His talents are as they say in other areas So when Oliver goes to visit his potentially crackpot Great uncle Gilbert for kite advice he has no idea what he'll find He certainly doesn't expect to be attacked by nasty evil kites or to watch his uncle disappear before his eyes He doesn't expect a special red kite of his Great uncle's design to carry him away to other worlds where there are other Olivers and Gilberts out there with very different talents and personalities And he certainly couldn't have expected to become the only hope for all the different worlds slowly dying thanks to one of the evil Gilberts' schemes Oliver has talents in other areas all right Heroic talents and it's time for him to discover them and put them to the testStories in which characters visit alternate worlds and meet their doppelgangers all tend to have one uality in common That first world? Our world Doppelganger worlds? Alternate versions of our world How remarkable then that Messer chooses to eschew all of that and begin in a world that is nothing like our own By page four the reader has been given enough information to know right off the bat that the book in their hands takes place somewhere new They'd be hard pressed to find many communities that live exclusively in trees in our own world after all And extra points to the author for resisting one of my least favorite fantasy tropes as well The crazy names I don't know what it is about the genre but otherwise sane and rational writers sometimes get a bit kooky when it comes to naming fantasy characters Basically if you see an apostrophe hanging in the middle of a moniker for no particular reason that's a bad sign In Messer's case his characters all have very common somewhat English names Oliver Gilbert etc Even the strangest name in the book Ilia isn't all that nuttyYou'll find that the characters ring true here which is noteworthy particularly when one of your characters is a sentient kite Admittedly I spent most of the book comparing that kite to the flying carpet in the Disney version of Aladdin A wordless flying object that takes our hero in and out of danger? Check check and check Of course Disney had the advantage of being able to show audiences the kite's body language Messer has to somehow convey a personality hidden within red silk and spars without relying on that characters' speech He accomplishes this primarily through shudders or the subtle tightening of a tail It makes sense in context but it couldn't have been easily to doThe book follows the standard zero to hero format with a twist Under normal circumstances when you begin a book and the hero has a dream you want that dream to come true In this particular case our hero has a dream that must be beaten out of him and replaced with a much bigger and better dream How many books for kids can you name where the hero starts out with the wrong desires? What happens to a dream deferred? You get a better book out of it that's for sure It also gives your hero a chance to change and grow All this ties in nicely to the doppelgangers Oliver encounters or hears rumors of In one case he's clearly a better person than his doppelganger in spite of the fact that that particular Oliver has a talent he so desperately desires In another case there's a possibility that he is a less heroic doppelganger than another OliverI think it worth noting that in the end Windblowne avoids what I'd like to call the Back to the Future Part II conundrum Generally when a protagonist is leaping back and forth between worlds or times it can be difficult for the audience to follow Add in the fact that half your characters share the same names and what you have is a near miracle if at no point you've completely baffled and bamboozled your reading fans Messer however eludes confusion and the reader never has any difficulty knowing who the hero is who the villains are and where they've all gone from one moment to the nextThe eco friendly message of everything being connected we are one even the smallest change makes a difference etc etc can get a bit nauseating if done poorly Eco fantasies can be the worst of the worst too Because in those cases not only are the books messagey they're allegorical to boot Nothing's worse than preachy fiction for kids Messer's talent then is to take a story that could be intolerable on the printed page and actually makes it fun and lively I'm not saying that there aren't some message like elements to the story There are a couple But in the end the story and writing stand out stronglyI think that there's a perception out there that fantasy is the lazy man's answer to writing for children Certainly there was a time when you couldn't throw a dart without hitting a Harry Potter knock off These days that kind of fantasy has slowed down and the genre has reached a kind of even keel Smart fantasies with their own particular peculiarities are on the rise Windblowne represents a return to original world building fantasies the kinds that could even be called science fiction if you suinted at them the right way Best of all it stands entirely on its own no seuel reuired though undoubtedly its fans will be besieging the author for of the same Mr Messer's debut is a sturdy beginning and marks the start of good things to come He'll garner many a fan with this book and hook adults and kids alike with his one of a kind point of view Recommended and then someFor ages 9 12

  2. says:

    In the town of Windblowne kite flying is no hobby It’s an obsession It’s an art It’s at the core of the identity of its uirky inhabitants People here spend all year waiting for the legendary Ye Olde Festival of Kites where they might see kites designed as enormous dragons or entire schools of fish or even carrier kites that passengers ride in And then there are the fliers These brave souls take their kites up to the crest of the mountain above Windblowne and jump attempting to ride the fierce winds and beat a record that’s stood for over fifty yearsLike everyone in Windblowne Oliver dreams of beating that record Too bad every kite he flies ends up in humiliating displays of destruction Oliver is a terrible kite flier He’s an even worse kite smith He’s also awkward and bumbling and delusional swinging from being painfully aware of his limitations which are many to being wildly over confident of his perceived talents which are few He could easily be the best protagonist I’ve read about in years As flawed as he is Oliver is a deeply endearing heroic and hilarious character who I couldn’t help but cheer for throughout this page turning adventureWhile Messer has many gifts as a writer—his craft is superb his story excellently plotted the world wildly original—what really grabbed me was the humor Oliver is side splitting funny The villain Lord Gilbert who is the evil version of Oliver’s Great uncle Gilbert in an alternate Windblowne kept me in stitches When this evil inventor captures Oliver he introduces himself with “I of course am Lord Gilbert thought you may refer to me simply as ‘Lord’ if you wish Although perhaps you could call me ‘Lord Great uncle’ as I shall be family to you than he ever was No that sounds absurd ‘Lord Gilbert’ will do”The best authors have a uniue and captivating ‘voice’ Lemony Snicket Neil Gaiman Roald Dahl Messer has this sort of ‘voice’ It pulls you into his weird and wonderful world It bonds you to the characters — heroes and villains alike It makes you eager for of his books I know I am And I’ll never be able to fly a kite again without wondering if I’m about to be yanked into the sky to a world of multiple moons mad scientists and madcap adventures

  3. says:

    In this fantasy it is Kite Festival time in Windblowne where Oliver lives in a tree house community The most respected art and trade is kite making and a skilled kite flyer is revered Our young hero Oliver is a clumsy kite maker and poor kite flyer who feels like a misfit In an attempt to improve his skills he goes in search of his long lost eccentric master kite maker and flyer Great Uncle Gilbert He is sure he will no longer be embarrassed by his lack of talent if his uncle helps him Instead his uncle talks nonsense of impending doom and refuses to help Oliver build a kit for the festival competition Instead his uncle warns him to avoid some unnamed him whoever he might be For Oliver this just confirms that he was the only sane person in his family Soon Oliver is wrapped up in a mystery There is something terribly wrong with the trees and he suspects his uncle is trying to do something about it Before Oliver realizes it he’s talking to his Uncle’s kite and the kite seems to respond This red kite exhibits a personality and emotions as Oliver develops a relationship with it The kite flies away pulling Oliver with him and leads him on an irreversible path They travel to an alternate world where he finds a nearly identical Oliver and Great Uncle Gilbert This other Windblowne isn’t uite right and this uncle in his thirst for power calls himself Lord Gilbert This alternate world uncle is an inventor with no respect for nature and an obsession with inventing and technology Oliver uickly realizes he must do something to save the trees in this world in order to save the trees in his home world Oliver and the red kite escape the evil uncle and find other different Windblownes as they search for his good Great Uncle Gilbert With his Uncle’s help he is sure there is a solution to save the trees and therefore all of the Windblowne’s too Within this cautionary tale about respecting nature not all word choices will be familiar to young readers but are understood with context clues Throughout the novel Oliver grows from a child who feels he is the only one amongst all the worlds without talent to the only one with the special skills necessary to save all the Windblowne worlds Oliver is a relatable character everyone can embrace in this thought provoking adventure

  4. says:

    People of Windblowne are always making fun of Oliver No matter how hard he tries every kite he builds breaks apart he has simply no luck and as it seems no talent either His last hope is his Great uncle Gilbert but he hides something and he seems just as mad as the rest of Oliver's family Only that he isn't mad And Oliver learns it the hard way I won't comment on the plot My only statement about it is that it is magicalIt felt like the wind took me with Oliver on his adventures Thanks to the utterly beautiful write style of the author I saw the oaks in front of my eyes I heard the different voices of the wind and felt its touch It was magical it was wonderful I loved Oliver and his talent that was indeed not making kites His talent was far beautiful and inspiring I loved Oliver's development through the whole book I loved the fact that he underestimated himself at the beginning and grew stronger and stronger afterwards I loved the crimson kite Yes you are reading right I loved a kite It had a personality actually The kite was strong and it was determined and I think it grew very close to Oliver I loved every word every sentence of this book I loved all the characters view spoilerI loved every world the author showed hide spoiler

  5. says:

    Windblowne isn’t just the title of this week’s book it’s the name of the fictional town in which our story takes place Windblowne is on a mountain and the residents live in tree houses—I like to imagine Endor without the Ewoks it wouldn’t be the same As their name implies the winds are plentiful in Windblowne and each year the non Ewok residents hold the Festival of Kites There are prizes to be won for events such as distance jumps in which residents leap off a peak of the mountain and fly a distance using their kite The survival rate is higher than you’d think the festival provides tourism income and the residents compete fiercely to build the best and brightest kite Enter Oliver who is about as skilled with his kite as the ninja is with a stunt kite He hasn’t got a hope of placing in the festival and so he will forever be known as a loser But he’s got a great uncle who was a former champion kitesmith who his parents have never mentioned before because they’re “crackpots” Great uncle Gilbert is a bit of a crackpot himself and Oliver worries over his own sanity which is a point of some importance as the story continues Messer never uite comes out and says here is the deal with Windblowne and I really admire that choice Windblowne is not a real place of course and there are some almost magical ualities about it that Messer reveals only as they become relevant to the story There is no chapter detailing that Windblowne exists on another planet or is the home of a magical tribe forgotten by history only subtle and some not so subtle hints along the way as to what sort of place Windblowne is For example Messer nonchalantly drops in lines like “The two moons gleamed beyond” Two moons? Gory what sort of place is this?Great uncle Gilbert specializes in kites unlike any ever sold a K mart He has fighting kites and a kite with jaws to eat other kites One kite in particular befriends Oliver and becomes his traveling companion This plain crimson kite is capable of flying Oliver off to faraway lands— on that in a moment But first from a craft perspective it’s fascinating to see how Messer is able to give a typically inanimate object such as a kite personality even though it is incapable of speech Here are the kite's parts of a conversation held with Oliver minus Oliver's linesThe kite hovered warily The kite buzzed tail lashing like a whipThe kite's sails sagged mournfully Windblowne is a wonderful adventure and you’re going to love it It’s a fun yarn that reminded me a bit of A Wrinkle in Time in that it’s great middle grade science fiction I really can’t tell you any about the book without spoiling some of the surprises If you’ve read the book or you’re willing to put up with a few minor spoilers read on Otherwise your review ends here Windblowne is one to put at the top of your reading list and make sure you come back around on Thursday to see Stephen Messer face the 7 uestionsThose of you who are okay with a few spoilers won’t mind knowing that Great uncle Gilbert’s plain crimson kite is capable of dragging Oliver to another version of Windblown in a parallel dimension Yes there are multiple dimensions and multiple versions of Windblown There are beams that run through all the worlds and in the center of those beams stands a great Dark Tower in a field of roses Okay I made that last part up but give yourself a pat on the back if you’re cool enough to be familiar with the reference from an amazing series of books for adults You have not forgotten the face of your father In another version of Windblowne is another version of Great uncle Gilbert called Lord Gilbert way better title and he explains the situation thusly It seems that in his primitive way he had a kind of native cleverness and he was able to construct one of these kites—he spat the word with derision—“in such a way that it could carry someone—only someone small such as a child—across the Way Between Worlds and between Windblownes without harming the passengerLord Gilbert busts Oliver’s crimson kite stranding him in the new world forever to work as a slave repairing kites with another world's less likable version of Oliver Worse Lord Gilbert has banished Great uncle Gilbert on a hell world Oliver must fight to save Great uncle Gilbert and to return to his one true home world It’s gripping drama and the pages turn themselves I especially loved all of the different versions of Windblowne Oliver visits Its fun to imagine how different variables might forever change a world in another dimension Is it possible there could be a Historical Romance Ninja in a parallel dimension I could meet if only I had a magic kite?That finishes out the review for everyone And now as I do every week I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite passages from WindblowneVivid banners fluttered in the windows advertising special Festival discounts Oliver knew the discounts were a sham All kiteshops doubled their prices during the Festival Oliver began to pound on the door to the beat of I need a kite I need a kiteAt first he feared that even this book would not be enough to hold down the kite eater but no matter how much it twisted and fought and snapped its jaws it could not escape the sheer weight of The Social and Cultural History of the Lower Wayfeld Valley in Late Mid Age Macherino Oliver knew the feeling wellOliver had always talked to his kites but he'd never had the impression that one of them might be listening Or if they were it was only so they could do the exact opposite of whatever he asked For example No please not in the tree was interpreted to mean Please dive directly into the tree or Watch out for the crowd of people meant Smash into the crowd of people in order to humiliate me as much as possibleTo read an interview with author Stephen Messer or to read interviews with other authors and literary agents log onto my blog at wwwmiddlegradeninjablogspotcom

  6. says:

    Okay after reading Windblowne by Stephen Messer now I really want to go an fly a kite I used to love flying kites as a kid in the city of Houston We would tie a lot of strings together and make out kites fly so high that you could barely see them It would take over half and hour to reel them in Other times we used to tape razor blades yes I know this was dangerous along the edges of out bat kites and have kite fights shredding each other's kites Later when I was an adult I bought kites that you could control with two strings and really enjoyed flying them in San Francisco Bay windsWhat I really enjoyed about this book is that is was unlike any other story I have ever read Right from the first chapter I was grabbed by the tempest of words and couldn't stop reading I just had to know if Oliver was going to save his great uncle I just had to know if Oliver was going to find a way back to his own world I just had to know if Oliver was going to somehow defeat Lord Gilbert and his hunter kites I just had to know if Oliver was going to be able to save the dying oak trees I just had to know all these things and it was going to drive me crazy until I found the answers to my uestionsWindblowne is Stephen Messer's first published book and it is a winner The pace of the story gusts along at a uick pace and the characters are wonderfully developed The story is extremely intriguing and I was literally blown away with the entire experience I read the book in bed before I went to sleep at night until I practically dropped it out of my hands because I was falling asleep and didn't want to stop reading Then I would get up early the next morning lay in front of the heater and read another fifty pages or so I just couldn't get enough of WindblowneYoung readers will find themselves breezing through this book as they gobble up the pages They will fall in love with the idea of traveling through the air on the tail of a kite The idea of multiple worlds with duplicate versions of the same person usually with a slight difference has always intrigued me I have always been interested by science fiction stories about multiple worlds and this one is terrificOverall Windblowne is an excellent book that I absolutely loved I sure home that Oliver braves the Night Winds for travels to other worlds in future books With an infinite amount of worlds to visit I am sure that there are adventures to be foundI rated this book a 9 out of 10

  7. says:

    Windblowne by Stephen Messer Kites with personalities? Evil kites that hunt and maim and a beloved kite that guides protects and leads a boy to discover his talents and destiny?Only a man who grew up flying kites in Maine and Arizona would conceive of a book in which kites fly between worlds and are harbingers of good and evil Windblowne incorporates the innocence and fantasies of every kite flying child who stands on the crest of a hill and wonders where his kite might take him—but packs in worlds of meaning and nuanceUpper elementary and middle school boys and girls will enjoy this fantasy about Oliver who lives in the world of Windblowne In a community in which building and flying kites is prized Oliver is a misfit Despite desperate attempts his kites fail and his peers ridicule him But Oliver has an uncanny ability to listen to the winds’ moans cries and whispers that blow through the massive oaks populating his world In addition he possesses a keen sense of observation by which he creates internal navigational maps These abilities remain unappreciated until the end of the book when he realizes the truth of his Great uncle Gilbert’s words “Your talents lay elsewhere” Embracing his gifts enables him to accomplish far than any of his peers Messer clearly layers the perennial struggle of good vs evil into this story When Oliver is unwittingly taken to another Windblowne world he meets two characters which are counterparts to people he knows –himself and his great uncle If I were using this novel in a classroom I would probe students to consider the nature of these anti heroesalter egos Resultant discussions could focus on how good and evil are present in all characters—both fictional and real Having just published the July issue of Talking Story on Multiple IntelligencesDifferent Learning Styles I have been thinking about the many different ways in which students learn and use their individual abilities I recommend Windblowne as a book that will help students who grapple with embracing their own uniue learning style and gifts Kites with personalities? You bet It will be a long time before I forget a crimson kite which nods trembles and fights for truth and justiceHappy kite flying

  8. says:

    I’m actually not sure where to begin this review I mean so many things about this book are uniue But since a cover is what we usually see first I’ll start there Oh My Goodness It blew me away pun intended The contrast of the moonlight and the red kiteamazing The boy flying over the tops of trees two moons just enough clouds and dark objects here and there to make it a tiny bit creepy Wow I couldn’t wait to read itIt only got better from there When I opened that first page and started reading about a town named Windblowne where everyone lives in tree houses built on limbs of luscious Oaks where night winds often blow with gale force I was captivated Immediately transported to this vivid world A world where kite flying is life And that means disaster for Oliver because no matter how hard he tries his kite never lifts off the ground With the annual kite flying festival days away Oliver finds out he has a great uncle who was a master kite flyer years ago If only he’d help Oliver build the strongest kite ever Oliver might finally earn a little respect from the townspeople But when Oliver manages to track Great Uncle Gilbert down in a well hidden part of the forest he discovers a magical secret There’s not just one Windblowne There are possibly millions Each with the same map of oak trees but with different whispers of the wind An evil Great Uncle Gilbert clone named Lord Gilbert is set on gaining power over all Windblowne’s but this involved taking energy from the Oaks and in turn killing them Lord Gilbert zaps Great Uncle Gilbert to a hell world Windblownem when he tries to save the tress This sets Oliver on a uest to find his uncle uncover the secret of the whispering winds and discover that if kite flying isn’t his talent what is Kudos to Stephen Messer for a truly original capitivating story This fantasy world is so rich I actually feel the need to reread the book The clues planted along the way were surely missed the first time around But now that I know what links the worlds I’m excited to go back and see Stephen’s extraordinary ability to weave so many threads into one satisfying ending

  9. says:

    A very nice read well written and imaginative with freuent dashes of humour and a nicely determinded protagonist I liked the blend of different genres or maybe disregard for genre limitations as the book mixes fantasy a bit of sci fi and pure adventure And although things like ecological responsibility growing up finding your talents and finding your place in the world are themes of the novel it doesn't try to beat you around the head with a MESSAGE for which I am very gratefulSometimes Oliver seemed a little slow with catching up on what's happening but younger readers or newcomers to the main idea behind the book probably won't have the same impressionI felt the ending was wrapped up a tad too uickly as I wanted to know about some things that happened or were revealed to have happened but it wasn't rushed or unsatisfying on the contrary it ended in a satisfying way with plenty of room for imagination and future possibilities for the characters Nice The I think about it the I like the book RecommendedEdit Oh and as a PS for Dianna Wynne Jones fans no it's not uite like DWJ's books someone should have called Chrestomanci it's less intricate and uirky and doesn't uite have her twinkly wit and that graceful nonchalance of weaving a story Maybe not yet It's really charming in its own way though

  10. says:

    Oliver's singular dream to to build a prize winning kite for the yearly kite flying festival in Windblowne a village whose homes are built in the trees His artistic mother and literary father have no interests in that activity; the children in the village treat him like the village idiot making fun of his awkwardness and lack of skills in building and flying a kite This drives him to find his reclusive Great Uncle Gilbert a former champion and expert kite builder Gilbert boots the boy out and sends him away admonishing him to stay away But Gilbert's prize crimsom kite arrives in the night at Oliver's treehouse summoning the boy to follow it Following the kite leads Oliver into the horrid plot from which Great Uncle had tried to shield him and far away from his home and familyMesser has created an unusual fantasy based upon a layer of similar worlds peopled with those that Oliver knows and filled with the oaks he loves Great Uncle Gilbert's doppelganger is a megalomaniac who fails to comprehend that the oaks he is destroying in his own world are tied to oaks in other parallel worlds Oliver the child who has been unsuccessful at what he's tried to do in the past is a young hero who must find his way in strange worlds

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