Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3
CHAPTER 1 "Professor Sherman's Incredible Loyalty"
The main character of the novel is introduced, Professor William Waterman Sherman. Professor Sherman is found floating in the Atlantic Ocean will debris and twenty balloons floating around him. A freighter, the S.S. Cunningham, on the way to New York, saves Professor Sherman from the water. The Captain, Cook and Doctor of the boat help to bring Professor Sherman to good health, all they ask in return is to hear the story of how Professor Sherman ended up in the Atlantic Ocean with half-deflated balloons around him. Professor Sherman states he can not tell the men about his journey, he is saving this story for the Western American Explorers' Club.
The captain agrees to bring Professor Sherman to a hotel in New York to allow him to recover from his journey. The captain sells Professor Sherman's name to The New York Tribune. The newspaper writes an article about Professor Sherman ending up in the Atlantic Ocean stating that he refuses to explain why.
Everyone from the mayor of the city to the President of the United States tries to get Professor Sherman to tell his story. Professor Sherman stays loyal to his explorers' club and insisting on telling them the information first. However, one offer Professor Sherman does not turn down is the final offer from the President of the United States. The President offered to clear the railroad lines from New York to San Francisco and send the Professor the presidential train for his journey home.
CHAPTER 2 "A Hero's Welcome"
This chapter is titled "A Hero's Welcome is Prepared." The hero they are referring to is Professor Sherman. Professor Sherman is on his way home to San Francisco from New York on the presidential train. The whole city of San Francisco is in a buzz about all things "balloons." The city placed ten miniature balloons on the base of the Explorers' Club cupola. The lifting power of the balloons was nine hundred pounds, the cupola only weighed about four hundred pounds. Later that day, the cupola was lifted by the balloons and carried off to an Indian Reservation, where the chief used it for his new home. In waiting for Professor Sherman, people began to get tired of this news story. This is when a young boy realized that Professor Sherman had beat the old record for traveling around the world, by forty days. The town soon realized that Professor Sherman had traveled around the world in forty days, compared to the old record of eighty days. This new information made the arrival of Professor Sherman even more exciting.
CHAPTER 3 "A Description of the Globe"
This chapter describes all the fascinating things Professor Sherman brought with in him in his balloon. Professor Sherman knew that he had to be careful with the weight of all his items in his balloon or he would sink. This made Professor Sherman very picky when selecting items to be brought on board. Professor Sherman brought a fishing rod, a table, some chairs, books, clothes and of course, food and water. When Professor Sherman wanted to lose weight in his balloon to make it go higher, he would throw his garbage overboard. Professor Sherman set sail in his balloon on August 15.
CHAPTER 4 "The Unwelcome Passenger"
The unwelcome passenger is referring to Professor Sherman. Professor Sherman's balloon was in trouble flying over the Pacific. A seagull had poked a hole in Professor Sherman's balloon. The Professor needed to increase his altitude quickly in order to land on the island in his sight. Professor Sherman began to throw all of the items in his basket into the sea. The Professor was hoping that the balloon would rise up into the sky by reducing the weight in the basket. As Professor Sherman threw out his last of his food in the water he noticed he was being followed by sharks. Finally, the Professor landed on what he thought was a desolate island.
CHAPTER 5 "A New Citizen of Krakatoa"
The island that Professor Sherman landed on was called Krakatoa. . Professor Sherman believed this island to be deserted, that is until he was greeted by a citizen of the island, Mr. F. The Professor thought it was merely an accident that he landed on the island but, Mr. F. explained that if the seagull had not put a hole in his balloon, that he would have with a gun. Mr. F. could not allow the Professor to fly over Krakatoa because then others would know that this was not a deserted island.
Mr. F. gave Professor Sherman a nice white suit to wear. A white suit is what all the men of Krakatoa wore. Mr. F. showed the Professor around the island. He then shared with Professor Sherman what was unique about the island. The island was unique because it was made of diamond mines. Every citizen on the island owned a share of the diamond mines. If a citizen of Krakatoa spent a billion dollars every day for the rest of their life they would still be rich, that is idea of how many diamonds existed on the island. Now that Professor Sherman knew all of this information about Krakatoa he would have to become a permanent guest.
CHAPTER 6 "The Gourmet Government"
In this chapter, Professor Sherman learns about Mr. M. Mr. M. was a young sailor who found himself shipwrecked off the island of Krakatoa. While trying to find a comfortable spot to rest, away from the volcano, Mr. M discovered the diamond minds. Mr. M. then built a raft and traveled to San Francisco where he traded some of the island's diamonds for money. While in San Francisco, Mr. M. found twenty families (each with one boy, one girl and varying creative interest) to travel back with him to the island of Krakatoa. All of the new families as well as Mr. M. split the diamond minds up equally.
Each family was chosen for a reason to be brought back to the island. The builders were brought to build huts for everyone. The builders built themselves beautiful huts. When Mr. M. and the other families asked the builders to build them a new home, they said they would if the people gave up their shares of the diamond mines. The people of the island agreed, so now they had a hut, but no diamonds.
In an effort to earn their diamond shares back, another family opened a restaurant on the island. They charged patrons shares of the diamond mines instead of money. This idea caught on quick and soon everyone on the island had opened a restaurant. Each restaurant was unique and was linked to some letter in the alphabet, A-T. Mr. I owned an Italian restaurant, Mr. C owned a Chinese restaurant and so on.
The concept of the restaurant sparked the development of the Krakatoa Constitution. There are twenty days in a month and each letter of the alphabet has a day. On A Day they eat at A's restaurant on B Day they eat at B Day's restaurant and so on. This new form of a restaurant government allowed all the citizens to once again own equal shares of diamonds from the mines.
CHAPTER 7 "The Moroccan House of Marvels"
This chapter tells about Mr. M. and his wonderful restaurant. Since Krakatoa's government is a restaurant government system, each family may set up their restaurant as they please. Mr. M.'s restaurant has many new inventions to make their life easier. One invention Mrs. M. is fond of is the invention which allows her never to have to make her bed. Mrs. M. was a nurse and was tired of making beds. So they created an invention which would allow Mrs. M. to crank her sheets around under the bed, where they would be laundered and ready to be used the next day. This allowed for Mrs. M to have fresh continuous sheets.
Another invention in Mr. and Mrs. M.'s house was in the living room, the chairs where electrically charged. This made the chair able to move about the living room with the intention of making life easier for people. Unfortunately the adults did not like this invention, so the children have taken the invention over and now use it similar to bumper cars.
CHAPTER 8 "Airy-Go-Round"
Mr. F. shows Professor Sherman different balloon inventions. One of the balloon inventions is the "Airy-Go-Round." The Airy-Go-Round is made up of canoes that are attached to one another in a circular shape. Each of the canoes is attached to a balloon. The Airy-Go-Round looks very similar to a carnival Merry-Go-Round. To land the Airy-Go-Round the balloons are deflated and the canoes turn into to sailboats. This invention is used by the children of Krakatoa as a fun ride and for short trips around the island.
CHAPTER 9 "Concerning the Giant Balloon Life Raft"
This chapter discusses the balloon platform. This is the last invention that Mr. F. shows Professor Sherman. The balloon platform was invented to help save the citizens of Krakatoa form a volcano eruption. The balloon lift would lift every citizen off the island and fly them to safety. Every family had a family parachute to use for landing, well almost everyone. Professor Sherman did not have a parachute. Mrs. M. agreed to make a parachute for Professor Sherman however, it would take about two weeks to complete. If something was to happen before Professor Sherman's parachute was complete, he would have to think quickly of what he could use for a parachute.
CHAPTER 10 "What Goes up Must Come Down"
The volcano on the island erupts forcing the citizens of Krakatoa to leave the island earlier then expected. Professor Sherman is worried because Mrs. M. has not completed the parachute. All the families pile onto the balloon platform and leave the island behind. Once the families are in the air, the island is demolished due to the volcano. The families live on cheese and other food to keep them alive until the first sign of land. Since Professor Sherman does not have a parachute he is force to try and land the balloon platform in the water. Mr. F. decides to stay with Professor Sherman until water is spotted. Once Professor Sherman sees the Atlantic Ocean he lands the balloon platform in the water. This is how the S.S. Cunningham discovered Professor Sherman floating in the Atlantic Ocean with half deflated balloons and flotsam floating around him.
After this exciting adventure, Professor Sherman decides to take his diamonds and trade them in for another hot air balloon. This time Professor Sherman includes a net to keep seagulls away. Professor Sherman sets out again for a trip in the hot air balloon for one full year without any interruptions.
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