Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (U.S. Cover shown) is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED reading!
Click on Scramble and then piece the cover back together...then go read the book.

an excerpt from Paige Turner's Bookhooks review of Airborn
Matt Cruse is a young apprentice aboard the massive airship, Aurora. Matt has aspirations to one day be a Sailmaker as his father had been. The Aurora is 900-feet long, and the majestic flagship of the Lunardi line of airships. It weighs more than the Eiffel Tower, yet it is lighter than air, due to the physical properties of hydrium which is contained in precious bladders inside the ship's hull.

In the opening chapters of the novel, Matt sees a rogue hot air balloon from his domed crow's nest atop the Aurora. Matt reports the sighting, then -- showing no fear of heights -- he helps to get the balloon onboard in an attempt to save its ailing captain. When the old rescued explorer wakens, he asks Matt if he had seen beautiful creatures hovering in the sky. Matt is intrigued, but he is convinced to treat the old man's claims as hallucinations brought on by his dire illness.

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