Sci-Fi or Fantasy book, red cover with an aerostatic balloon

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Sci-Fi or Fantasy book, red cover with an aerostatic balloon

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set. 13, 2012, 3:20pm

Hi guys! I once had a English teacher who lent me a Sci-Fi (or Fantasy, I am not sure) book with a red cover and an aerostatic balloon in it. The main character may have been a girl. I didn't get a chance to read it because I was busy with studies, and anyway my English wasn't as good at the time, so I returned it to my teacher without reading it. But now, I am trying to remember the title and I just can't! I can't reach that teacher anymore so that's not an option... Maybe some of you can recognise the book from these clues. I'd be so grateful if you can help me :)

set. 13, 2012, 3:27pm

Hmm, that cover doesn't ring a bell with me. Some timing information might help with others, though. How old were you when the teacher gave you the book? What year was this? Do you have an impression whether it was an old or a new book at the time?

I see you live in Spain -- do you think the book had published in Spain, or could the teacher have brought it from another country?

set. 13, 2012, 3:38pm

Hello MyriadBooks,

I know he bought it in England because he was from there. This happened about three or four years ago. The copy was quite worn, but I don't think the novel was published a long time ago, I'd say late 80s at the earliest, but that's just a guess. It was a paperback.

I think this main character girl may have lived in an orphanage, at least at the beginning of the novel (I read a few pages), that may be the reason why he gave it to me when I told him I had finished reading the "His Dark Materials" thrilogy... but I'm not 100% sure about this.

Editat: set. 13, 2012, 4:10pm

It could be Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken which is set in an alternative version of 19th century England where a Stuart king is on the throne and there are still wolves in England. Several of the covers are red with a hot air balloon and one of the main characters is an orphan called Sophie.

It was published in the 1960s, but even if it isn't the right book I would recommend it and the other books in the series. They were some of my favourite books as a child, and I first read them when I was too young to realise that they were alternate history.

set. 13, 2012, 5:20pm

Hello isabelx,

thank you very much for taking the time for answering. It certainly looks like that could be an interesting story, and it fits my description, but it's not the novel I was looking for. I'll check it out though, if I can get it somewhere :)

set. 14, 2012, 8:02am

I'm gonna take a stab in the dark and ask if it might be The Court of the Air. Here's a picture of the red cover:

I haven't read it, but it seems to have a female orphan as a main character.

set. 14, 2012, 12:36pm

That is the one I was looking for!!! Thank you so much MyriadBooks. Can I ask how you found it?

set. 14, 2012, 1:57pm

You are very welcome!

I got lucky. Your mention that you saw this book only on a few years ago actually rang a dim bell in my head -- I vaguely remembered browsing a bookstore about five years ago and seeing an eye-catching cover of a sketch of a hot-air balloon on cream background. I used Google to figure out what the title and author was, then Google Images to see if there were any different-looking covers. Then I saw the red cover and thought, Oooh.

set. 14, 2012, 3:35pm

Wow so it took a mix of serendipity, your good memory, and some Internet research. I can't almost believe it. I think I was the one who got lucky :) I'd like to inform you that I've already ordered a copy. Again, thank you very much.

set. 17, 2012, 2:09pm

Excellent. I hope you really enjoy it!