The plot and story for this book came from an innovative competition, the Big Idea Competition which has been running for the last few years and is open to all entrants aged 13 – 103! The judges have a wealth of literary magic behind them, and include amongst their esteemed number Barry Cunningham (the man who took a risk on the story of a boy wizard named Harry 21 years ago), the excellent Jen Campbell (writer and blogger whose Youtube channel is popular with bibliophiles worldwide), M. G. Leonard (who made the leap from managing The Divine Comedy and running the great Setanta Records to writing the successful series of Beetle Boy books), so you know this is going to be good.

Developed from Jackson’s story ‘The First Aeronauts’, the multi-award-winning Sky Chasers tells the story of the fledgling flights of hot air balloons, and their wonderful first aeronauts. Magpie is a fantastic character, as much at ease in the world of orphans and thieves as she is amongst inventors and the aristocracy.

Emma Carroll builds upon her source material and creates an enchanting tale to delight young readers. Her books never disappoint, and here she captures the voice of her first-person narrator with ease. By turns lyrical and comical, it boasts non-stop action, which makes the book a compulsive page turner. A wonderfully written, highly enjoyable adventure story.