Sky Chasers
A encounter with a boy dangling from the sky changes pickpocket Magpie's life forever. His family, the Montgolfiers, are desperate to discover the secret of flight. Together with Pierre, Magpie is caught up in a world of inflatable bloomers, spies and unruly animals in a race to be the first to fly a hot air balloon - in front of the King and Queen of France.

Sky Chasers Details

TitleSky Chasers
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 4th, 2018
PublisherChicken House Ltd
ISBN-139781910655535
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Historical, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Fiction

Sky Chasers Review

  • Perdita Cargill
    January 1, 1970
    'What an adventure! Orphans and queens and inventors and rakes, this story does not flag for a second. Magpie is a smart and strong hero who stands for no nonsense (especially not from the men and boys around her) and the cast of supporting characters is wonderful - not merely human ("'What possessed you to do something so dangerous?' Poultry, mostly', I admit."...). Original description that takes the reader all the way to 1793 France but never gets in the way of the pace of the narrative and a 'What an adventure! Orphans and queens and inventors and rakes, this story does not flag for a second. Magpie is a smart and strong hero who stands for no nonsense (especially not from the men and boys around her) and the cast of supporting characters is wonderful - not merely human ("'What possessed you to do something so dangerous?' Poultry, mostly', I admit."...). Original description that takes the reader all the way to 1793 France but never gets in the way of the pace of the narrative and a strong message of the power of friendship and loyalty. I loved it. And credit too, to Neal Jackson and The Big Idea Competition. Perdita
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  • Kerry Mintern
    January 1, 1970
    Uplifting! Loved it!
  • Amy (Golden Books Girl)
    January 1, 1970
    Having been excited for this book since the day it was announced, I was absolutely thrilled when it came through my door. I was gripped by the story of Magpie, a young orphan/pickpocket living in France as she becomes unexpectedly involved in a bid to become the first country to fly a hot air balloon. Emma Carroll`s writing is as beautiful and lyrical as ever, and never falls down the trap of going too far with this in favour of advancing the plot. I also adored Magpie as a character as she was Having been excited for this book since the day it was announced, I was absolutely thrilled when it came through my door. I was gripped by the story of Magpie, a young orphan/pickpocket living in France as she becomes unexpectedly involved in a bid to become the first country to fly a hot air balloon. Emma Carroll`s writing is as beautiful and lyrical as ever, and never falls down the trap of going too far with this in favour of advancing the plot. I also adored Magpie as a character as she was so brave, clever and really deserving of the happiness she finds by the end, as well as her friend Pierre and the incredibly sweet animals; Coco, Voltaire and Lancelot. I got through this in two sittings despite having very little time to read at the time, as I couldn`t wait to see what would happen next. I`m so excited for Emma`s next book already! 5/5
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  • Vonprice
    January 1, 1970
    This is a delightful story based on the struggles of the Montgolfier family to win the race to create a hot air balloon, to satisfy the command of King Louis XVI. It was written by one of my favourite authors, Emma Carroll, based on a story idea which won Chicken House's "big idea" competition.As always, Emma has used her unique talent to create an entirely believable voice for her main protagonist, and weaves a spell-binding tale that transports you back to 18th century France. From the first p This is a delightful story based on the struggles of the Montgolfier family to win the race to create a hot air balloon, to satisfy the command of King Louis XVI. It was written by one of my favourite authors, Emma Carroll, based on a story idea which won Chicken House's "big idea" competition.As always, Emma has used her unique talent to create an entirely believable voice for her main protagonist, and weaves a spell-binding tale that transports you back to 18th century France. From the first page I loved the resourceful, brave and intelligent Magpie, a girl who has survived the death of her mother and disappearance of her father. She is thrust into the centre of the Montgolfiers' quest when, first she is sent to steal from their home and subsequently she daringly rescues the kind young Pierre from a flyaway prototype. The plot which involves English spies, the threat of the guillotine, a couple of comic but essential pet fowl and just the right amount of jeopardy, absolutely rockets along. As with all the best children's books, there is a lovely underlying theme of the redemptive power of kindness, written with the lightest of touches. I think this book would appeal equally to girls and boys throughout KS2, and could imagine it being used as a class reader to accompany DT or Science topics. I will certainly be taking a copy into my school. Emma Carroll, je vous salue!
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    Emma Carroll is brilliant. I love all her books. She writes fabulous adventure books for children and this one is no exception. Magpie is a courageous main character, an inspirational female character.
  • Kate Geraets
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent book, based on fact and woven into an intricate story.
  • MrBReads
    January 1, 1970
    A fun re-imagining of the first hot air balloon flight in the C18th, Sky Chasers tells the story of Magpie, a poor, black, female thief with the odds stacked against her. When a job goes wrong, she finds herself caught up in events bigger and better than she could ever have hoped.As I've said before, I'm a fantasy/adventure freak. As such, and despite my love of historical fact, I am not drawn so much to these kinds of books naturally. Carroll is, however, a writer of great experience and more t A fun re-imagining of the first hot air balloon flight in the C18th, Sky Chasers tells the story of Magpie, a poor, black, female thief with the odds stacked against her. When a job goes wrong, she finds herself caught up in events bigger and better than she could ever have hoped.As I've said before, I'm a fantasy/adventure freak. As such, and despite my love of historical fact, I am not drawn so much to these kinds of books naturally. Carroll is, however, a writer of great experience and more than deserved repute and if you enjoyed her straight-historical novels such as Letters of the Lighthouse, you could do far worse than Sky Chasers. Already a popular novel among teachers, and, more importantly, several members of my class who have already begun queuing to borrow it from me!
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  • Jade Louise
    January 1, 1970
    Review originally shared on my book blog - Reading with JadeBorn from an idea by Neal Jackson, winner of Chicken House's The Big Idea Competition, Emma Carroll has written another marvellous middle grade book that transports you to another time, takes you on an adventure and enchants you with a medley of characters... Including three animals in the case of Sky Chasers!As the story begins, we meet Magpie, an orphan girl living on the streets, as she is tasked with stealing a very important box fr Review originally shared on my book blog - Reading with JadeBorn from an idea by Neal Jackson, winner of Chicken House's The Big Idea Competition, Emma Carroll has written another marvellous middle grade book that transports you to another time, takes you on an adventure and enchants you with a medley of characters... Including three animals in the case of Sky Chasers!As the story begins, we meet Magpie, an orphan girl living on the streets, as she is tasked with stealing a very important box from a household in France. Magpie is known for stealing, however she is a pickpocket and so breaking and entering a house is new territory for her, but the lure of some coins seals the deal... Except things don't quite to plan. Not too long after, Magpie finds herself employed by the very same people she previously tried to steal from, and makes a friend in the form of Pierre. Magpie and Pierre soon find themselves helping Pierre's father and uncle (the Montgolfier brothers) in inventing the world's first hot air balloon, and this is where the story really gets interesting. Adventure ensues, of the fun but also dangerous variety, with the best friend duo even finding themselves prisoners of the King and Queen of France at one point!Elements I really enjoyed in Sky Chasers (that often run through Emma Carroll's novels in general) include: a strong female protagonist, the beauty of friendship, a hint of mystery to keep you page turning, the wonderful way in which history & adventure are combined, and not to mention Emma's amazing way with words... The added addition of the common 'One for Sorrow' nursery rhyme, which pertains to the sighting of magpies, running throughout the book was a noted and appreciated detail also.If you're a regular reader of my blog then I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this (again) - but go and pick up a book by Emma Carroll; you won't be disappointed!
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  • Kirsty
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book I have read by Emma Carroll and I really enjoyed it. been looking at buying some more of her books to read :)I enjoyed the idea behind the story. The way it was written you really are able to feel what flight would have been like for those that were experiencing it for the first time. Working in a school library, i think this would be a good book for the children to read either for pleasure or as part of a topic in class. And as well as donating this book to our school li This is the second book I have read by Emma Carroll and I really enjoyed it. been looking at buying some more of her books to read :)I enjoyed the idea behind the story. The way it was written you really are able to feel what flight would have been like for those that were experiencing it for the first time. Working in a school library, i think this would be a good book for the children to read either for pleasure or as part of a topic in class. And as well as donating this book to our school library for more children to read I will be recommending it to our upper key stage 2 class teacher for future reference.
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  • Steph
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the science in this book and it would fit in perfectly with studying a forces topic. The characters are likeable and the story is one I wanted to read on. The first two chapters are delicious, which leads on for the rest of the book. I love Magpie and Coco, and I love that they have each other through thick and thin!
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  • Fairy
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic decent read that had me gripped thoroughly enjoying each chapter. A lovely descriptive story with lots of personality. A story I wouldn't have thought to have picked up myself, but certainly a book I'd recommend to all. Thoroughly enjoyable!
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  • Penny
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it! A fantastic story.
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Historical adventure with a touch of mystery and lots of engaging characters- human and animal! 🐓🐏🐤
  • Brindy
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Emma's previous book Letters from the Lighthouse, so she had a tough act to follow, but with Sky Chasers she certainly managed to keep up the high quality of story telling. I loved the character of Magpie, and the adventure told about the Montgolfier's aim to fly a hot air balloon. Set against am historic setting again, the story unfolds with a couple of unexpected twists towards the end.Lovely story telling for any age, a definite 5 stars from me.
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  • Rebecca Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    Hats off for Emma Carroll who has, yet again, lyrically woven a tale of history and adventure which will inspire a cacophony of wonderful cross-curricular ideas in the classroom. Beautiful storytelling and a creative teacher’s playground. Thank you Emma!
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    Originally posted at ragdollreads.co.uk A fun little book that got me reading again!TL;DR - The story of two children (and a duck, a rooster and a lamb) taking to the skies.RAGDOLL RATING: 5/5 BUTTONSWhat I thought:I spent a whole week completely unable to read anything for more than a minute until one evening I picked this book off my shelf and just read. It came easily.The book follows Magpie, child thief turned aviator. After a series of accidents, Magpie finds herself in the employ of the Mo Originally posted at ragdollreads.co.uk A fun little book that got me reading again!TL;DR - The story of two children (and a duck, a rooster and a lamb) taking to the skies.RAGDOLL RATING: 5/5 BUTTONSWhat I thought:I spent a whole week completely unable to read anything for more than a minute until one evening I picked this book off my shelf and just read. It came easily.The book follows Magpie, child thief turned aviator. After a series of accidents, Magpie finds herself in the employ of the Montgolfier family, who happen to be attempting to achieve the first powered flight by use of a hot air balloon. What follows is a tale of adventure, discovery and excitement.I loved this book. I always say that age ratings in books aren't good for much. Just because you're older (and in my case WAY older) than the age range for a book doesn't mean you can't enjoy it and get a lot out of reading it. Reading should be for fun, and that's what this book is. Fun. It's a well written easy read, with lovable characters and an exciting plot.___________________________________________Please note: I am in no way affiliated with the author or publishers. The opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced by any external entity!
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  • Chrissi
    January 1, 1970
    I always know that I’m in for a decent read when I pick up a book of Emma’s. I really enjoyed reading Sky Chasers and yet it again, it has me yearning to be in Key Stage 2 once more so I can teach it/read it to my class! They’re a little young this year for this book but it didn’t stop me thinking of the ways that this book could be used educatively.This book comes from an idea by Neal Jackson who was the winner of Chicken House’s The Big Idea Competition. What an idea it was! Sky Chasers is a I always know that I’m in for a decent read when I pick up a book of Emma’s. I really enjoyed reading Sky Chasers and yet it again, it has me yearning to be in Key Stage 2 once more so I can teach it/read it to my class! They’re a little young this year for this book but it didn’t stop me thinking of the ways that this book could be used educatively.This book comes from an idea by Neal Jackson who was the winner of Chicken House’s The Big Idea Competition. What an idea it was! Sky Chasers is a story that centres around the Montgolfier family. They are part of the race to discover the secret of flight. Alongside pickpocket Magpie, they begin to create a hot air balloon. They need to take it to King Louis XVI. However, their mission is not easy and they have many obstacles in the way like spies and misbehaving animals.This story is so much fun and I imagine children would be completely captivated by the tale. I know I was! Emma Carroll’s writing style is simply wonderful and always catapults the reader right into the action. I’ve mentioned before that it feels like you’re inside the story watching the action unfold.Magpie is a wonderful female character. We’re always looking for strong female leads to inspire our girls at school because quite often it’s a strong male lead. Magpie had gone through so much. She experiences the loss of both parents and has to learn to live and survive on her own. There are some other brilliant characters who are so well developed. I immediately enjoy reading about characters in an Emma Carroll book because they’re well written and incredibly three dimensional.It didn’t take me long to read this beautiful book! I definitely see myself using it if I ever get back to Key Stage 2. Until then I’ll highly recommend it to my junior colleagues.
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  • Vincent Ripley
    January 1, 1970
    Emma Carroll's 'Sky Chaser' is an example of one of these books. Hatching into magical existence, it will appeal to the middle-grade fantasy audience or lovers of historically inspired fiction.This book is based on the winning idea submitted by Neal Jackson as part of the annual The Big Idea Competition. The story takes flight through the expert hands of Emma Carroll, a fantastic author of some really brilliant books in my opinion. The fantastic book cover has been produced by David Litchfield, Emma Carroll's 'Sky Chaser' is an example of one of these books. Hatching into magical existence, it will appeal to the middle-grade fantasy audience or lovers of historically inspired fiction.This book is based on the winning idea submitted by Neal Jackson as part of the annual The Big Idea Competition. The story takes flight through the expert hands of Emma Carroll, a fantastic author of some really brilliant books in my opinion. The fantastic book cover has been produced by David Litchfield, whom I recently highlighted as my favourite illustrator of 2017. The story is based on the true story of the first hot air balloon flight over Paris in the eighteenth century. Most of the facts are in keeping with historical records of this time. The story swoops and seamlessly blends into a fantasy world that fits with this time period. It is well-researched and fantastically balanced with the background story. The setting, some of the characters and the time period are also factual and make for a hidden educational journey.Emma Carroll has a lovely way of blending the narrative to fit the occasion. She wrote the story from the perspective of the French, which I really appreciated and felt that it made the story so much better. You will encounter many colourful characters through this family adventure full of scrapes and bumps as well as the occasional animal scrape, which will make you laugh. It is a story fuelled by friendship, hopes and everlasting dreams.It is a great race against time in this all-out action adventure. It will transport readers back in time to when balloon flights were a mystical idea that held so many people captivated. I would truly recommend this book - an easy read in just one sitting. It really is a breath of fresh air that will have you soaring through the fantasy thermals of history and beyond. A great start to the new year.
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  • Matt Davies
    January 1, 1970
    Earlier this week, the Big Idea Competition 2018 launched. If you have an idea for a children’s story, this is your chance to see your idea turned into a novel by a recognised children’s author. That’s exactly what happened to Neal Jackson. Back in 2014, his idea The First Aeronauts won the inaugural Big Idea Competition. Fast-forward nearly 4 years and his idea has been published courtesy of author Emma Carroll and Chicken House Books.Jackson’s idea is a simple one: tell the story of the first Earlier this week, the Big Idea Competition 2018 launched. If you have an idea for a children’s story, this is your chance to see your idea turned into a novel by a recognised children’s author. That’s exactly what happened to Neal Jackson. Back in 2014, his idea The First Aeronauts won the inaugural Big Idea Competition. Fast-forward nearly 4 years and his idea has been published courtesy of author Emma Carroll and Chicken House Books.Jackson’s idea is a simple one: tell the story of the first hot air balloon flight. In the year 1783, the race was on between the French and the English to create the world’s first flying machine. Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier eventually triumphed when their balloon took off – with a host of animals on-board. What Emma Carroll has done is created characters and a great little adventure story around this historic context.Magpie is an orphan with no prospects in life. Then two chance encounters change her life forever. First, a lady asks her to steal a mysterious box from a house. Soon after, she spots a boy flying overhead being dragged by some sort of flying machine. Before long, she works for the Montgolfiers, whilst also having the shadow of her thieving past loom over her.There is plenty in this book to get your teeth into. Emma Carroll is a master of writing historical fiction for children. Her last novel, Letters From The Lighthouse, won many accolades and awards. Sky Chasers in no exception. Science also plays a key role in this book. After all, it is hard to create the first hot air balloon with science. If you don’t already know why a hot air balloon flies, you definitely will do by the end of the book.Then there are the characters. Carroll has crafted a great character in Magpie. She is strong, determined and has that never-say-die attitude. The contrast between her and Pierre is wonderful. Neither conform to any stereotype, yet have a distinct voice which is key to the plot. Together, they have the bravery and wisdom to protect each other and their families. They compliment each other to a tee.I cannot believe that so soon after Letters From A Lighthouse, Emma Carroll has produced yet another book of this quality. It zips along, compelling the reader to continue. More importantly, it opens your eyes to parts of history and science you may never have considered. And that is what reading is about – broadening your horizons and your knowledge. Another fantastic book to start 2018 with!www.mrdaviesreads.co.uk
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  • Seawood
    January 1, 1970
    This was a lot more fun than I expected - I hadn't really enjoyed a previous book I'd read of Carroll's, so I'd hesitated to pick this one up. Turns out it earns all of the plaudits it's received! It's a wonderful entry to historical fiction for Y4-6, made all the better from being set in France and having a scattering of French through it - not to mention a black main character. Magpie is fab - tough when she needs to be but absolutely devoted where deserved (particularly to Coco, the equivalen This was a lot more fun than I expected - I hadn't really enjoyed a previous book I'd read of Carroll's, so I'd hesitated to pick this one up. Turns out it earns all of the plaudits it's received! It's a wonderful entry to historical fiction for Y4-6, made all the better from being set in France and having a scattering of French through it - not to mention a black main character. Magpie is fab - tough when she needs to be but absolutely devoted where deserved (particularly to Coco, the equivalent of Moana's HeHe). The setting is wonderfully evoked; I can see why teachers love this as there's plenty to pick apart in terms of minorities through history, class including royal power, education of women, the historical context of rivalry between the nations, and the science required to get a balloon aloft. Loads to dig into, but the story itself is perfectly paced to be a great independent read too. I hope it flies off the shelves!
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  • Danni Jervis
    January 1, 1970
    A very clever, interesting factual event written by a master of historical fiction for kids.The entire novel feels very individual, the plot was concise enough that it didn't need to be elaborated on which made this books has a sense of being fully completed and an excellent stand alone. I love the inclusion of the Magpie poem for the protagonist in the separated parts, it added a sense of involvement for readers as much of story is told from the French perspective whose view of the English isn' A very clever, interesting factual event written by a master of historical fiction for kids.The entire novel feels very individual, the plot was concise enough that it didn't need to be elaborated on which made this books has a sense of being fully completed and an excellent stand alone. I love the inclusion of the Magpie poem for the protagonist in the separated parts, it added a sense of involvement for readers as much of story is told from the French perspective whose view of the English isn't great in this time period.With an array of colourful characters, dastardly plots hatched in secret and a race against time, this is a book to to make you feel like you are soaring in the air like Magpie and can do anything.
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  • Stephen Connor
    January 1, 1970
    When trying to steal some important documents from the Montgolfier family, Magpie falls into a life previously unimagined, becoming integral to the race between the English and French as they battle to see who can fly the first hot-air balloon. Magpie, as with all of Carroll’s lead characters, is a strong-willed female: decisive, determined and with a sense of purpose. She outwits several of the other (largely male) characters on the story with her quick thinking and sheer bloody-mindedness, and When trying to steal some important documents from the Montgolfier family, Magpie falls into a life previously unimagined, becoming integral to the race between the English and French as they battle to see who can fly the first hot-air balloon. Magpie, as with all of Carroll’s lead characters, is a strong-willed female: decisive, determined and with a sense of purpose. She outwits several of the other (largely male) characters on the story with her quick thinking and sheer bloody-mindedness, and her survival instincts allow her to thrive in her new surroundings. A story about believing in something, finding yourself, and doing what is right.
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  • Helena
    January 1, 1970
    Magpie - is an orphan - living on the streets and surviving as a pickpocket - until she encounters the Montgolfiers and their attempt to fly a craft. Full of adventure and thrills - as the Montgolfiers try and be the first to fly a balloon following the order of the King of France. Pierre is her sidekick - as well as a duck and cockerel! A must read
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic adventure story with a feisty heroine. Magpie is a thief living on the streets of Paris but a chance encounter leads her into the home of the Montgolfier family and their race to be the first to fly. With a motley assortment of human and animal characters, this is a whirlwind story that carries you along on its flight.
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  • Karina
    January 1, 1970
    I read this with my junior bookclub, and the feedback was universally positive.An exciting, eventful story based on the real-life Montgolfier brothers and their first ever balloon flight launched from Versailles in 1783.N.B. Ireland wasn't far behind them - the first manned hot air balloon flight left Ranelagh Gardens in 1785 with Richard Crosbie on board.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Really good, engaging book. Draws you in & keeps your attention - great focus on a girl with a can-do attitude, and that girls make great scientists & inventors, but also on friendship, loyalty & kindness. A quick read.
  • T
    January 1, 1970
    A beautiful story with true historical events interwoven with Emma Carroll’s fantastic story telling. Strong and powerful female lead character highlighting the importance of history not always remembering what women did. Beautifully written adventure. Highly recommend!
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  • Ludmila Marton
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars.
  • Lorraine
    January 1, 1970
    Everything I want in children's fiction - strong female lead, focus on friendship and a bit of mystery. I also learnt some history along the way!
  • Christina Reid
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this, full review to come!
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