The Girl with the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers, #1)
When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process.

The Girl with the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers, #1) Details

TitleThe Girl with the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers, #1)
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 1st, 2017
PublisherAlbert Whitman & Company
ISBN0807529370
ISBN-139780807529379
Number of pages256 pages
Rating
GenreHistorical Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Historical

The Girl with the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers, #1) Review

  • Candace Robinson
    March 10, 2017
    What a magical book! Love how everything comes full circle and connects! Plus time traveling intertwined with magic! And that ending!!! *Hyperventilates*
  • Katherine Locke
    April 14, 2016
    I wrote this thing. It'll be on your shelves and available ~Spring 2017!
  • Kate
    March 16, 2017
    Guys, do yourselves a favour; either go and request this book on NetGalley, or take note of when it is released (or do both, like I am) because it is seriously one of the most beautiful, magical, heartbreaking stories I've read. It made me cry on numerous occasions. This review is going to be all over the place because my emotions are all over the place. The ending is so perfect, but so sad and it just...gah. I'm crying again."What could change if we started to measure society's successes not in Guys, do yourselves a favour; either go and request this book on NetGalley, or take note of when it is released (or do both, like I am) because it is seriously one of the most beautiful, magical, heartbreaking stories I've read. It made me cry on numerous occasions. This review is going to be all over the place because my emotions are all over the place. The ending is so perfect, but so sad and it just...gah. I'm crying again."What could change if we started to measure society's successes not in wars won but in moments in which we countered injustice? When good did win out over evil."If I had to describe The Girl With the Red Balloon in one word, it would be magical. Ellie Baum's grandfather is a Jewish World War II survivor, and Ellie has grown up being told the story of how he escaped a death camp; that a girl in a purple dress handed him a red balloon, and it took him out. So when she is in Germany on a school trip, and she sees a red balloon, she grabs it, wanting her picture taken with it. She is transported back in time, in East Germany where red balloons are able to take people over the Berlin Wall, to safety. The love and relationships in this book are incredible. Apart from Ellie, we have Kai, a Romani boy who would do anything to protect his little sister, and who helps to transport people over the Berlin Wall. We also have Mitzi, a German girl with a family who can never accept her sexuality, partner to Kai in helping those in need of escape. They both fall in love with Ellie, in very different ways. "I was the girl with the red balloon who shouldn't be in the black-and-white world of Walls and fear and lies. He was a kaleidoscope boy born at the wrong time in the wrong place, too bright for here, too much for everywhere else."I could share endless amounts of quotes from this book, but I won't spoil things for you. I will, however, leave these two with you, and urge you to keep a lookout for this book. "Be good and be sparkly and flirt with a stranger, darling.""One time, I spent six months back in time. I fell in love with a boy who had no obligation to love a world that only gave him grey skies and loneliness. I fell in love with a girl who loves so fiercely that she holds the world together. I fell in love with believing in magic.If you give a girl a red balloon, she'll believe in magic and memory.If you give a girl a red balloon, she'll never want to let go."*Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book*
    more
  • Ava
    March 15, 2017
    Four stars, maybe more. Wow.It's the next day now (I finished this at 11 last night) and I'm still shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. Do you like:-Jewish main characters-multiple points of view-time travelling stories-diversity (Jewish mc, Romani mc, queer mc)-historical fiction-learning more about the Holocaust and the Berlin Wall?Then you'll love this book. I most definitely did. My very small quibbles:-I wasn't a *huge* fan of the writing style. By the middle of the book, I was used to Four stars, maybe more. Wow.It's the next day now (I finished this at 11 last night) and I'm still shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. Do you like:-Jewish main characters-multiple points of view-time travelling stories-diversity (Jewish mc, Romani mc, queer mc)-historical fiction-learning more about the Holocaust and the Berlin Wall?Then you'll love this book. I most definitely did. My very small quibbles:-I wasn't a *huge* fan of the writing style. By the middle of the book, I was used to it, but it was nothing outstanding in my opinion. -It took me a bit to get into the book. I was thoroughly engrossed after a while, but at the beginning, I was a little confused. Other than that, I really enjoyed it, and would highly, highly recommend you check it out when it releases. Katherine Locke has written a masterpiece that is especially timely right now, and will do a lot for so many people. The characters and story will stick with you long after you finish. I'd never read a YA about the Berlin Wall or even set in that time period before, and I am so happy this book exists. Review in more detail to come soon. (Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a copy for review.)
    more
  • Heidi Heilig
    January 11, 2017
    Read and loved an early version of this magical devastation. Up, up and away!
  • Nita
    April 14, 2016
    Full disclaimer: I'm Katherine's critique partner and friend, so. BUT. But. I read this book in its early stages and what a lush, beautiful, magical world Katie has created. There's so much to love in this book—the romance, the magic, the Jewish heroine and historical setting, Katie's prose—all of it is magical and wonderful, and you'd better be picking up this book when it comes out.
    more
  • Lily Grant
    March 17, 2017
    Final Thoughts / Rating:4 out of 5 Stars.Everything is uncertain within the realm of the girl with the red balloon.Ellie, our heroine, is a young Jewish-American girl on a school trip to modern day Berlin. In the beginning of the trip all is well, but in the midst of her questioning her identity and place within the world. Ellie comes into contact with a single floating red balloon.Ellie knows or thinks she knows the significance behind the red balloon from the tales her grandfather use to tell Final Thoughts / Rating:4 out of 5 Stars.Everything is uncertain within the realm of the girl with the red balloon.Ellie, our heroine, is a young Jewish-American girl on a school trip to modern day Berlin. In the beginning of the trip all is well, but in the midst of her questioning her identity and place within the world. Ellie comes into contact with a single floating red balloon.Ellie knows or thinks she knows the significance behind the red balloon from the tales her grandfather use to tell her as a child. But as soon as she grasps it within her hands, she's instantly transported back in time to 1988 Eastern Berlin.And there in the chaos of traveling between time and space, Ellie meets Kai.Kai is a runner, a guide who helps travelers move from one time to the other with the assistance of the red balloon's magic. With his help, Ellie navigates through an unknown landscape in order to keep time and history out of the hands of people who would use the red balloon's magic to alter history. At first, I wasn't entirely sure how all these characters within their own separate timelines would interweave with one another but I am happy to say as the story progressed it definitely worked out very well.The way the timelines worked made perfect sense in regards to how these individuals were first emotionally separated but then as the story progressed their lives were physically shaped by the choices they made in order to protect an unknown future from crumpling all around them. I really, really enjoyed the pace of the book. Being thrusted into the depths of the action without a moment of hesitation is always a good sign that a book is going to be good!Reading and experiencing Locke's words I now have a new understanding and appreciation as to what it means to be free.
    more
  • Silvana [The Book Voyagers]
    February 7, 2017
    I feel so lucky to have read an early copy of The Girl with the Red Balloon.It's definitely a book that pull at my heartstrings ~ I cried. You will too. Everyone will cry. The story will draw you in and you will never want to let go. Prepare yourself for a journey to the past and a cast of characters that will make sure to make you love them until the end of times. rtc//
    more
  • Ashley Poston
    January 1, 2017
    This. Book.
  • Emily B
    March 17, 2017
    What a wondeful, magical, intriguing book. Honestly, when I first began reading this book, I didn't have high hopes. I wasn't expecting much. I got way more than I bargained for and I am so glad.So here are four things I loved about this book:1. The characters are wonderfully written. All of the characters experienced character arcs that were well done. They all had flaws and imperfections. They didn't always make choices I agreed with, but they weren't stupid either. Attention is given to even What a wondeful, magical, intriguing book. Honestly, when I first began reading this book, I didn't have high hopes. I wasn't expecting much. I got way more than I bargained for and I am so glad.So here are four things I loved about this book:1. The characters are wonderfully written. All of the characters experienced character arcs that were well done. They all had flaws and imperfections. They didn't always make choices I agreed with, but they weren't stupid either. Attention is given to even the secondary characters. 2. The plot was interesting and different from anything I have read before. Time traveling with a red balloon? Completely original. There were so many places the plot and storyline could have gone wrong, what with the historical setting and the time travel aspect. However, I think it was done just right. The time travel is explained in a way that makes sense and adds to the story. 3. The depth was surprising to me. This wasn't a story full of fluff, like the first chapters made it seem like it could be. The book discusses serious topics and the characters have to make some tough decisions. There were several instances while reading where I didn't know what to believe or what I would do if put in that situation. Having said that, there are some light hearted and humorous moments that create a good balance.4. It was genuine and no insta love. There was no ridiculous drama, just an impossible situation, where making the right decision couldn't happen because there was no right decision. The characters keep their goals in mind, letting the romance be on the side.Such a good read!
    more
  • Mic
    April 14, 2016
    Let me tell you all about this book.It's perfect and you will cry and it will tear your heart to pieces and it will complete you.
  • Julia Ember
    April 14, 2016
    I read an early version of this and it was so fabulous. Really looking forward to the finished book and so happy for Kat Locke!!
  • Kathryn Thies
    March 22, 2017
    I see on Goodreads that this book is slated to have a sequel and OMG I NEED IT NOW. The Girl With the Red Balloon is incredible and wonderful and profound and thought-provoking and wonderful. It is DEFINITELY a new favorite book of mine- never seen anything similar and guyssssssssss I want more balloon travel asap. Nope. Not just little hot-air balloon rides. I mean, magical red helium balloons that teleport you across the walls that confine you, whether they be actual, physical walls, or, *coug I see on Goodreads that this book is slated to have a sequel and OMG I NEED IT NOW. The Girl With the Red Balloon is incredible and wonderful and profound and thought-provoking and wonderful. It is DEFINITELY a new favorite book of mine- never seen anything similar and guyssssssssss I want more balloon travel asap. Nope. Not just little hot-air balloon rides. I mean, magical red helium balloons that teleport you across the walls that confine you, whether they be actual, physical walls, or, *cough cough more illegally*, time. Because, when you think about it, time is one of the tallest and most confining walls that we come across. If not THE tallest. Things I loved:-DIVERSITY. Omg the pure DIVERSITY of all the characters. Ellie is Jewish. Kai and Sabina are POC and Romani (which is freaking AMAZING and can we have more Romani characters? Please?), and Mitzi is lesbian and she has teal hair and I adooooooorrrrrrreeeee Mitzi. She and Kai have the actual best friendship.-That said, MITZI. She is officially my girlfriend. No arguments. AND SINCE THE BOOK HASN'T COME OUT YET, LET IT BE KNOWN THAT I WAS FIRST. MITZI IS MINE.-I ship it soooooo hard, too.....-Time travel. I'm a sucker for time travel.-How many time travel books include East Berlin? HOW MANY? See?-GUYSSSSS EAST. FREAKING. BERLIN. My family actually has a lot of ties to Germany- my dad was there shortly before the Wall fell, and his German exchange-student-brother was there that night- so I grew up with the stories. I actually believed that the USSR was still together until I was maybe nine, but I digress sooooooo....-I speak a lot of German, so it was the best, trying to translate dialogue into how it would actually be, and then translating the other German words.-Kai and Mitzi's relationship in general.-Mitzi and Ellie's friendship. -More Mitzi. Mitzi is goals. Mitzi is my girlfriend. Just in case you didn't notice already.-MMMMIIIIIIITTTTZZZZZIIIII MY HEARTThings I didn't like so much:-Ummmm..........I'm not actually sure there was anything I didn't like?-Oh, wait a second. It wasn't longer. That was sad. I want more of my girlfriend and my OTP.
    more
  • Jenny Ferguson
    March 24, 2017
    From the first few paragraphs, I was hooked. Katherine Locke creates the voice of the sidekick character that we all feel like, most days. Ellie is relatable, and I want to follow her on an adventure, want to watch her understand we’re all the protagonists of our own stories. I’m a huge history nerd, and spent my undergrad degree in a European Studies program. German history, especially modern German history was my thing. And Locke’s novel is full of history, little bits, little offerings that m From the first few paragraphs, I was hooked. Katherine Locke creates the voice of the sidekick character that we all feel like, most days. Ellie is relatable, and I want to follow her on an adventure, want to watch her understand we’re all the protagonists of our own stories. I’m a huge history nerd, and spent my undergrad degree in a European Studies program. German history, especially modern German history was my thing. And Locke’s novel is full of history, little bits, little offerings that make this novel come alive. And while this is a work that blends the real with the fantastic, Locke’s “Author’s Note” will unpack what’s what when you’re finished exploring her version of Germany through time.Kai’s voice is fantastic, so different from Ellie’s and yet, in the same way, I want to sit down and listen to his adventures. I know he knows the ugly side of life, and it makes him vulnerable. I <3 vulnerable male characters so much! They are my weakness. Benno takes us even further back in time to 1941: his is the voice we’re most used to hearing when novels focus on modern German history. But what makes The Girl With The Red Balloon exciting is the layers!! It's not just Benno or just Kai or Ellie. This novel gives you all of their voices and their experiences! And I love that this story explores what it means to be Jewish, specifically, and what connections to the past mean to teenagers today, more generally!One thing that I’m not loving is that there’s a lot of telling in the opening of the novel. Some of it’s needed to get the reader situated, but Kai seems to be telling us a lot! His motivation, his feelings for the cause, how Balloons work. And as a reader, I want to do a bit more work myself. Benno does this a bit too when we first meet him. But this is a minor thing. It doesn't take away from the journey, and from how much you're going to love these characters! I got an ARC of THE GIRL WITH THE RED BALLOON from NetGalley.
    more
  • Sam Kozbial
    March 16, 2017
    A historical journey with a magical twist wrought with pain and suffering, but also love and joy. Review to follow. BLOG|INSTAGRAM|BLOGLOVIN| FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
  • Sage Thoughts
    March 13, 2017
    Content Ratinghttp://sagethoughtsonbooks.blogspot.c...
  • Melody
    April 22, 2016
    So, so beautiful! A must read.
  • Angela Jones-Cuéllar
    March 28, 2017
    pooled ink Reviews: 3.5 Stars"We're all here because of ghosts." -FelixI found this book to be drawn around a very interesting idea. Magic red balloons that carry people to safety? I was intrigued. There’s just something so happy and innocent and hopeful about a shiny red balloon, isn’t there? I don’t know, perhaps it’s just me.This book alternates between three different POVs: Benno (1941), Kai (1988), and Ellie (2017). It also focuses on three distinct periods of German history: WWII, the Iro pooled ink Reviews: 3.5 Stars"We're all here because of ghosts." -FelixI found this book to be drawn around a very interesting idea. Magic red balloons that carry people to safety? I was intrigued. There’s just something so happy and innocent and hopeful about a shiny red balloon, isn’t there? I don’t know, perhaps it’s just me.This book alternates between three different POVs: Benno (1941), Kai (1988), and Ellie (2017). It also focuses on three distinct periods of German history: WWII, the Iron Curtain, and present day Germany. Most of the story takes place in 1988 East Berlin where Kai and Mitzi help people escape via magic red balloons and where Ellie accidentally time travels to when she grabs a rogue balloon in her own time period whilst on a school trip abroad in Germany.The storyline bounces between solving the plot mystery (malfunctioning balloons), taking a few beats for character development (friendships, family, romance), and introducing history in a first person format.This book was a really good story. It's full of hope, love, creativity, and many red balloons. I have mixed emotions about the bittersweet ending but it’s still a very good book, honestly. P.S. I must say that the German song “99 Luftballons” (99 Red Balloons) by Nena popped into my head almost immediately and it kept cycling back into my mind throughout the story whenever they described the balloons carrying someone away. It's a German anti-war song written in 1984 (during the time of the Berlin Wall) and the lyrics speak so perfectly to the inspiration of this story. So if you don't know it then give it a listen. It's seriously catchy. Read my full review here: https://pooledink.com/2017/03/28/the-...
    more
Write a review