When a girl in a homemade hot air balloon falls out of the sky in rural Gilbertine, there are questions: Who is this girl, where exactly did she come from, why won’t she talk, and what has she risked to live in a country that does not seem to want her? And what can Sophie, Wyatt, and K—three misfit best friends with complex and harrowing stories of their own—do to help the girl who can’t trust those who want to help her? What should they do? As seen through the eyes of 14-year-old Sophie, who lives with her terminally ill grandmother, Cloud Hopper by National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart is a poignant, high-flying adventure set among the old planes, Vietnam vets, and majestic hot air balloons of a run-down municipal airport. It’s about the rules we’ll break and the dangers we’ll face to do the most-right thing we can imagine, even when we’re feeling long past brave.
Featuring a diverse cast of young people with complex family lives who band together to help a stranger, Cloud Hopper is a young adult novel that illuminates the perils of being an undocumented immigrant in the United States and explores loss and family tragedy. Includes ten black and white illustrations by artist William Sulit.