Launched in 2010 from Random House Books for Young Readers:
“A high-flying fantasy adventure that will blow readers away!
Every kite Oliver touches flies straight into the ground, making him the laughingstock of Windblowne. With the kite-flying festival only days away, Oliver tracks down his reclusive Great-uncle Gilbert, a former champion. With Gilbert’s help, Oliver can picture himself on the crest, launching into the winds to become one of the legendary fliers of Windblowne.
Then his great-uncle vanishes during a battle with mysterious attack kites—kites that seem to fly themselves! All that remains is his prize possession, a simple crimson kite. At least, the kite seems simple. When Oliver tries to fly it, the kite lifts him high above the trees. When he comes down, the town and all its people have disappeared. Suddenly the festival is the last thing on Oliver’s mind as he is catapulted into a mystery that will change everything he understands about himself and his world.
Inspired by the work of Diana Wynne Jones, debut author Stephen Messer delivers a fantasy book for boys and girls in which the distance between realities is equal to the breadth of a kite string.” – Random House
About the Author
“Blown into this world as a baby, Stephen Messer spent his childhood flying kites on windswept hilltops in Maine and Arizona. He has lived in deserts and in megacities, on alpine mountains and in lowland swamps. Nowadays he lives with his wife in an old house surrounded by oak trees in Durham, North Carolina. Sometimes, on windblown nights, it seems like the house has been transported to another world.” - from the cover
Kirkus Reviews calls Windblowne “an inventive debut fantasy, set in multiple worlds linked by trees and winds….a tale that moves along at a powerful, steady pace to a climactic faceoff.”
Also one of Parent & Child magazine’s top picks for fiction for Spring 2010.
The New York Public Library named Windblowne to its Children’s Books 2010 list.
Windblowne was also featured in Boys’ Life magazine in June 2010.
“If sentient kites and evil twins are up your kid’s alley, prepare for a soaring, diving, crazed and thoroughly enjoyable ride into a place where priorities are strictly of the air-based variety.” – A Fuse #8 Production
“Float away with Oliver in this powerful fantasy adventure!” – The Public Library of Cincinnati
“Windblowne is Stephen Messer’s first published book and it is a winner.” – Reading Review
“A great, great kids read… a very fun, strange, challenging book, and I’m glad I read it.” – The Artolater
“Stephen Messer’s debut novel Windblowne is a delight.” – Dear Reader
“After reading Windblowne a windy day will never seem the same again.” – curled up with a good kid’s book
“Windblowne is a gorgeous debut novel.” – Yahong Chi
“The windswept world that Oliver lives in is almost like another Neverland, where families are drawn together, adventure is around every secret passageway, and the sky is filled with the colorful silks and bright “tails” of kites blowing in the wind. This is top-notch middle-grade fiction! Enjoy it!” – Bookpleasures.com
“…this is some very original and refreshing work that meshes both fantasy and mystery, a solid single volume in a world of overextended series.” – THE PLANETESME PLAN
“…an exciting well-written tale that will keep you glued to your seat and turning pages…a story sure to tantalize young minds and give them things to think about after they have finished reading the story.” – Journey of a Bookseller
“At once magical, fantastical, and mysterious, Windblowne is a non-stop adventure that readers won’t be able to put down…” – The Day
“This is a great book (with a great cover, too).” – Fabulous Reads
“While Messer’s book is epic, it is also very personal, as a very vulnerable Oliver grabs your heart and your attention. ” – Kiss The Book
“Windblowne is an engaging adventure story…” – Flamingnet
“Highly imaginative, this intelligent and gripping fantasy plays with parallel worlds, divergent personalities, kites with knowledge and personality, and the gradual, totally believable, growth and change of its appealing protagonist…” – Okanagan College Library
“This adventure fantasy will be particularly appealing to boys, who will be able to relate to Oliver and will enjoy his suspenseful journey between parallel worlds, which are incredibly creative. This story is fun, fast-paced, and likable.” – The Crimson Review of Children’s & YA Literature
“It’s gripping drama and the pages turn themselves.” – Middle Grade Ninja
“You’ll never grab hold of the tail of kite without a quick backwards glance to make sure you really know just who is holding all the strings.” – Books ‘n Bytes
Best Middle-School books of 2010 – Shan’s Picks
Good Books for Kids
“The giant moon, alongside the smaller one, give a sense of dreamy otherworldliness that immediately drew me in.” – *Insert Literary Blog Name Here* (cover review)
“While premise sounds very confusing, the author manages to make every planet unique and identifiable while maintaining the characters.” – Youth Services Book Review
“I am one of those people who has always been unsettled by the wind.” – WestportsKnittingLibrarian
“This fantasy world is so rich, I actually feel the need to reread the book. The clues planted along the way were surely missed the first time around.” – Whatcha Reading Now?