Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Things That Float in the Air

Hang Gliding and Parasailing - (ISBN: 978-0836845471)

by John Schindler

This non-fiction selection lets you in on the real world of one form of extreme sports. Find out the differences between the two appealing past times. Which would you like to try first?

Old Mother West Wind - (ISBN: 978-0486294551)

by Thornton Burgess

This 100-year-old book has characters like the wind and the breeze that lift you into a magical land of animals and other imaginary creatures. Organized into short stories with morals, this book provides a nice contrast to the fanciful, plugged-in animal tales of today.

Run for the Hills Geronimo - (ISBN: 978-0545331326)

by Geronimo Stilton

Geronimo Stilton’s 47th adventure turns out to be more than a relaxing escape from his normally hectic life when he finds himself in the middle of a madcap treasure hunt that includes a hot air balloon ride! If you have enjoyed Stilton in the past, this one will be a bonus read. If not, try this; many other similar adventures await you in this series.

Smoke Jumpers - (ISBN: 978-1933390291)

by R.A. Montgomery

This Choose Your Own Adventure book lets you in on the details of the lives of firemen who hurtle into dangerous situations to try and save the nation’s forestlands. Battling both natural and manmade perils, the smoke jumpers experience a wide range of high emotions. Join their fear and excitement in this inside look at an exciting job!

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - (ISBN: 978-0312649616)

by Catherynne M. Valente

September leaves behind her humdrum existence when she flies on a mythical beast to a magical land. Unlike other fairy stories, though, this one includes a balance of good and evil beasts. Her adventures, however, spice up this imaginary land as she encounters both the good queen and some evil djinns. Compare this book to Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz.

The Twenty-One Balloons - (ISBN: 978-0140320978)

by William Pène du Bois

Professor Sherman’s plan to sail the world in his own homemade hot air balloon succeeds beyond his most fervent hopes when he lands on Krakatoa and has many unexpected adventures. These include finding marvelous people, exotic plants and animals, and lots of new facts he can add to his compendium of knowledge. Read this classic book, first published in 1948, to find out what a giant balloon life raft is!

Tiny Broadwick: The First Lady of Parachuting - (ISBN: 978-1565547803)

by Elizabeth Roberson

Tiny Broadwick’s biography includes many exciting details about both the triumphs and the perils of her parachuting adventures. Even the beginning of her life as a jumper is inspiring as she came from a very poor background and succeeded in getting in the Guinness Book of World Records at a time when women were not considered candidates for record-breaking adventures. Despite the ever-present dangers she experienced, her determination to pursue her chosen goal revealed her personality strength, although she was not recognized for her accomplishments for many years.

At the Back of the North Wind - (ISBN: 978-1881084075)

by George Macdonald

Cloud Capers - (ISBN: 978-0448450469)

by Sue Bentley

Flash! Bang! Pop! Fizz! - (ISBN: 978-0764111426)

by Janet Parks Chahrour

Flying for Fun - (ISBN: 978-0778712275)

by Ole Steen Hansen

Flying in a Hot Air Balloon - (ISBN: 978-0876147504)

by Cheryl Walsh Bellville

Max and Maddy and the Bursting Balloons Mystery - (ISBN: 978-0312537074)

by Alexander McCall Smith

The Silver Balloon - (ISBN: 978-0374466473)

by Susan Bonners

Activities for this Theme

Make some cloud and hot air balloon mobiles from paper.


Make a paper wind-driven helicopter.


Listen to the musical selection “Scherazade and the Valkyries” and paint or draw a picture of the wind in response to it!