Cover illustration by David Litchfield
Magpie steals just enough to get by, an orphan who dreams of flying above the rooftops that surround her. When a boy whizzes past her, clearly in trouble, she races to the rescue, and suddenly finds herself soaring across the fields below. She’s actually flying – if only for a short while – before crashing back down to Earth.
The chance encounter sees her plunged into the heart of the Montgolfier family’s attempt to beat the English in the race for the skies. Can she and Pierre convince Monsieur Joseph to continue his work before they incur the wrath of King Louis?
Emma Carroll has done a fabulous job of turning Neal Jackson’s award winning Big Idea into a heart thumping romp of an adventure, that whisks you into the heart of 18th Century France – the beautiful countryside, the slums of Paris and on to the sumptuous luxury of Versailles. Magpie’s determination and eye for detail place her at the very heart of this reimagined tale of the invention of the first machine to take flight, where she refuses to let the fact she is a girl mean her ideas are worthless. With plucky children, an endearing household and menacing villains lurking in the shadows, Sky Chasers is a feast for the imagination and a must for lovers of historical fiction. Magnifique!