The Silver Balloon

Susan Bonners; Illustrated by the author

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Having a pen pal is exciting

One September evening, Gregory ties an index card with his name and address on it to the string of a silver helium balloon and lets it go from his window, into the city sky. Three weeks later, an envelope arrives in the mail. A farmer named Pete has found his balloon! Gregory writes back, and the two become pen pals, exchanging mystery gifts with each letter. Finally, Pete sends a gift that Gregory can identify only by a trip to the antural history museum, and the object turns out to be something truly amazing. With illustrations by the author, The Silver Balloon is perfect for early chapter-book readers.


Praise for The Silver Balloon

"A wonderful intergenerational story. Gregory, a shy fourth grader who lives in the city, initiates a pen-pal friendship when he sends off a message attached to a balloon...A solid choice." --School Library Journal

"Young Gregory decides on a whim to release a helium balloonwith is name and address attached...The result is a great pen pal relationship that develops between Greg and the farmer Pete Mayfield [who] send a seried of mystery gifts to each other...This book will appeal to young readers on many levels - the mysteries fot he gifts, the development of the friendship, and the way that Greg sticks to his dreams till they come true." - Booklist

"Bonners surreptitiously promote[s] letter writing, personal research, and the value of the publis library [and] she does it with an economy of words and a fast-paced, credible plot while her black-and-white drawings flesh out the text." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Susan Bonners; Illustrated by the author

  • Susan Bonners is the author and illustrator of many fiction and nonfiction picture books for children, including The Wooden Doll, Just in Passing, and A Penguin Year. She lives in Roslindale, Massachusetts.


Available Formats and Book Details

The Silver Balloon

Susan Bonners; Illustrated by the author

Christopher Awards - Winner
  • Trade Paperback