The Boundless
The Boundless

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Annotation: Aboard "The Boundless," the greatest train ever built, on its maiden voyage across Canada, teenaged Will enlists the aid of a traveling circus to save the train from villains.
Catalog Number: #80419
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 332 pages
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 1-442-47288-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-80380-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-442-47288-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-80380-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013009879
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
Will's father is driving the Boundless, the longest train ever, on her maiden voyage. After a series of adventures (involving a sasquatch and a murder), Will finds himself stranded in the caboose, where, with the help of a cute tightrope walker, he dodges a nefarious villain. The third-person present-tense narrative creates suspense as the well-drawn characters travel through an alternate-universe Canadian wilderness.
Kirkus Reviews
William Everett is proud of his rags-to-riches father, manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway, but he wants to forge his own destiny. Will's first chance comes when real-life 19th-century rail baron Cornelius Van Horne invites him on a train ride to greet his years-absent, track-laying dad at a nearby mountain camp. After surviving an avalanche and a terrifying sasquatch attack, Will gets to hammer in the last spike, a diamond-encrusted gold railway spike worth a fortune. The story resumes three years later, as a taller, more fancified Will embarks with his now–high-ranking father on the maiden voyage of the Boundless, an opulent, 987-car train—a "rolling city" complete with automaton bartender and traveling circus, 7 miles from locomotive to caboose. Untold treasure is locked up in Van Horne's booby-trapped funeral car, and a motley crew of hungry souls wants to get their hands on it no matter whom they have to kill to get it. The suspenseful shenanigans that follow shape this wild, cinematic ride, but the underlying narrative track is Will's dogged determination to follow his own bliss—perhaps as an artist—despite his father's strict opposition. Canadian railway history, fantasy, a flutter of romance—and a thoughtful examination of social injustice—collide in this entertaining swashbuckler from the author of Printz Honor–winning Airborn (2005). (Historical fantasy. 9-14)
Publishers Weekly
Will Everett-s father is just a poor man laying track for the Canadian Pacific Railway until, on the day when the last spike is driven home somewhere in the Rockies, James Everett saves the railroad-s president from an avalanche. Three years later, James is a railroad executive, and he and Will have been invited on the maiden intercontinental trip of the Boundless, the largest train ever assembled at nearly 1,000 cars. This purposefully melodramatic tale is set in a slightly alternate 19th-century North America, where monsters like the mighty sasquatch roam the Canadian wilderness. Will becomes embroiled in a plot to break into a palatial funeral car, along with Maren-the beautiful wire walker of the Zirkus Dante, whose cars are part of the train-and the circus-s mysterious Métis ringmaster, Mr. Dorian. Dangers both natural and supernatural abound, as well as a certain amount of social commentary regarding class and ethnicity. Oppel-s (Such Wicked Intent) imagination and sense of adventure never disappoint, and readers should thrill to this rousing tale as it barrels ahead at full speed. Ages 8-12. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 5&11;8&12; All aboard for an exciting tale of steam-powered automatons, a bloodthirsty sasquatch, colorful circuses, and magical paintings. Aspiring artist Will Everett knows he's not cut out to follow in the footsteps of his railroad manager father, but his pampered life leaves little opportunity for adventure. Then he boards The Boundless, the world's largest and most luxurious train. After acquiring the key to the railway owner's funeral car, Will is running for his life, pursued by deadly enemies who will do anything to possess the car's valuable contents. He is rescued by Mr. Dorian, ringmaster of the famed Zircus Dante, and an escape artist called The Miraculous Maren. These two performers, however, have their own secret agenda for helping Will. As The Boundless thunders toward its destination, Will must decide who to trust, if anyone. Along the way, Will is on the adventure of a lifetime. With its imaginative plot, cast of colorful, well-rounded characters, and nonstop action, Oppel's latest is a delight to read from the first page right through the satisfying conclusion. Take note: This book will be popular!&12; Alissa J. Bach, Oxford Public Library, MI
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
William Everett is proud of his rags-to-riches father, manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway, but he wants to forge his own destiny. Will's first chance comes when real-life 19th-century rail baron Cornelius Van Horne invites him on a train ride to greet his years-absent, track-laying dad at a nearby mountain camp. After surviving an avalanche and a terrifying sasquatch attack, Will gets to hammer in the last spike, a diamond-encrusted gold railway spike worth a fortune. The story resumes three years later, as a taller, more fancified Will embarks with his now–high-ranking father on the maiden voyage of the Boundless, an opulent, 987-car train—a "rolling city" complete with automaton bartender and traveling circus, 7 miles from locomotive to caboose. Untold treasure is locked up in Van Horne's booby-trapped funeral car, and a motley crew of hungry souls wants to get their hands on it no matter whom they have to kill to get it. The suspenseful shenanigans that follow shape this wild, cinematic ride, but the underlying narrative track is Will's dogged determination to follow his own bliss—perhaps as an artist—despite his father's strict opposition. Canadian railway history, fantasy, a flutter of romance—and a thoughtful examination of social injustice—collide in this entertaining swashbuckler from the author of Printz Honor–winning Airborn (2005). (Historical fantasy. 9-14)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Will's quiet life changes when he travels westward and takes part in the golden-spike ceremony completing the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. True, he's nearly killed by an avalanche and a sasquatch, but he also meets Maren, the young circus performer he can't forget. Three years later, Will joins his father for the inaugural journey of the Boundless, a mammoth train hauling 947 cars and 6,495 passengers across the continent. Along the way, Will learns that two groups plan to steal priceless treasures (including the golden spike) from a vaultlike mausoleum car. Hunted by a villainous gang, Will must rely on his wits, his courage, and his friends, including Maren and her circus community. Best known for his Printz Honor Book, Airborn (2004), and the Silverwing series, Oppel offers a grand adventure story that is firmly rooted in Canadian history but which is never limited by mere recorded facts. This vividly imagined, present-tense narrative features a series of heart-stopping action scenes involving dozens of memorable characters, many of them introduced in the 1885 segment and revealing themselves more fully aboard the Boundless. An epic journey novel with a distinctive setting, a powerful sense of adventure, and just a whiff of steampunk. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Oppel's Silverwings trilogy has sold over a million copies worldwide and Airborn received a Printz Honor. Expect hoards of passengers aboard The Boundless.
Word Count: 75,781
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.0 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 166130 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:16.0 / quiz:Q62506
Lexile: 730L
Guided Reading Level: Y
Fountas & Pinnell: Y

All aboard for an action-packed escapade from the internationally bestselling author of Airborne and the Silverwing trilogy.

The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life!

When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past.

In order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will’s father and save The Boundless before someone winds up dead?


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