Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Gary Ross
Illustrator: Matthew Myers
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Bartholomew Biddle is a boy who hates math and loves adventure, but soon finds himself being swept up by his trusty bedsheet and a powerful gust of wind. As Bart travels and meets new friends in strange lands he must decide where he truly belongs among pirates, pilots, parents, and friends. What will he do when he finds himself where the wind doesn't blow--will he return home? Ross's story follows this fantastic character as Bartholomew questions the role of pleasure, persistence, and adventure in boyhood.
Ross's writing is unique in that it is written entirely in 450 poetry stanzas of ABCB ballad meter - quite a feat! As you read it feels like a cross between a story set with peter pan, told in the rhyming pattern of Dr. Seuss. Almost every page has gorgeous oil art done in the painterly style. The book does not have a particular identifiable audience attached to the story, but perhaps it would be well suited for upper age elementary students who can read it themselves, or for a multiple-night read aloud at home with parents. Interestingly, Gary Ross is the screenwriter and director for the popular movie adaptation of The Hunger Games. This is Gary Ross's first children's book and it is filled with a similar spirit of action and adventure.