Home / Books / Children & Teenagers books / Ages 9-12 / The balloon, the Mount Tambura and the Flying Carpet ID: B26521
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The balloon, the Mount Tambura and the Flying Carpet

Author: Fernanda Rainerei
ISBN: 9788891172938
Original Region: Italy
Original Language: Italian
Publication Date: 2015
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The Balloon, Mount Tambura and the Flying Carpet

A wonderful adventure on the Apuan Apls

by Fernanda Raineri

This novel by Fernanda Raineri is first of all a compelling adventure tale. It’s warm, fascinating, with a something classic that is hard to find in modern literature. Few works so direct, so sincere are published nowadays. It is this kind of cleanliness, of directness that dominates this book that, page after page, becomes more and more involving.

The story is set in the Versilia, in Tuscany, amidst the beautiful natural landscapes of the Apuan Alps, exactly near Mount Tambura. There Stella and her sister Glenda, with their American friends Rebecca and Frank, get involved in a series of incredible – nearly supernatural – adventures.

Everything starts with a flight on a hot air balloon organised by the gang despite their parents’ perplexity. It seems nothing more than an interesting experience, maybe a once-in-a-lifetime adventure but something very safe anyway, but everything soon descends into chaos: due to high winds, the Turkish pilot Alfred loses control of the balloon, called Nautilus, and is forced to crash-land it in the woods. The four friends lose consciousness. As soon as they come back to their senses, they realise that they are unhurt, but there’s no trace of Alfred.

Stella and her mates start looking for a path out of the woods. Their attention is, however, captured by a young fox that, frightened, hides in a hole in the rocks. Curious, the friends follow it to a huge underground cave. There, they find at first some ancient coins, then a real treasure and some human remains from the years of the Second World War. Amongst many things, they see an Oriental-looking carpet and a piece of parchment with some mysterious words on it.

And this is just the start of an adventure that will see them go deep inside the earth, through extraordinary, mysterious places, where they will meet their incredible inhabitants. What they can’t imagine is that they’ll find in Alfred an unexpected antagonists, and that they’ll fly again thanks to that mysterious carpet…

An adventure at the end of which, sticking to all the topoi of the genre literature, the protagonists are the only depositaries of an old secret. Alco Stella, an aspiring writer, has something to write about…

The strength of this story is, however, not only on the fascinating adventures, but also in the souls of the four characters, who come to life through the pages, involving the reader in their choices, their fears, their individual ways of managing the most unbelievable situations basing all their choices on the most magical and supernatural value: friendship.

The crystal clarity of Ms. Raineri’s writing is a sharp weapon that, along with the rhythm of the story, creates the perfect reading experience for the younger readers involving at the same time those adults who haven’t lost their ability to be surprised.

An echo of the unforgettable Jules Verne’s novels is not only in the name of the balloon, but also in the friends’ underground adventure: it is a Journey to the Centre of the Earth full of interesting discoveries and findings, but with more modern resolutions and in a more contemporary language.

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