Chloe’s Letter Essay #6

Letter-Essay 6


Chloe Rozendaal

Mr. Jockers

ILA/ P.5


I recently finished reading a magnificent book called The Boundless. It has 336 pages and is written by Kenneth Oppel, the internationally best-selling author of Airborne and the Silverwing trilogy. Kenneth Oppel was born in Port Alberni and is currently living in Toronto with his wife and three kids.

The Boundless was published in 2013 and was a 2017 Nutmeg Book Award nominee. I decided to read this book because I had bought it over the summer and planned to read it as one of my mandatory book to write about, but ended up reading something else.


In the novel The Boundless, a boy named Will Everett is traveling on the largest and best train ever built. He travels with his father, who is the manager for the train and gets them 1st class tickets. Will stays in the cabin by himself, as his father has to conduct the train. At one of the stops Will gets off to stretch his legs and wanders around. By accident he goes into the woods and witnesses a murder and a special key being stolen. Will barely gets away, but not before the murderer gets a good look at his face. He has to join a circus, so the murderer named Brogan can’t find and kill him. Will works with a girl named Maren whom he had met at the very beginning of the book. The ringmaster and leader of the group, Mr. Dorian, helps protect Will. The circus does a show for every class starting from the caboose and Will pretends to be an Indian artist who can draw people blindfolded. Not everyone is fooled by his act and danger seems to find him wherever he goes. Is Will going to make it to the front of the train where his father is before someone kills Will first?

I liked the way the author started the book and then skipped forward two years to show the reader how his life used to be. Before Will’s father was made manager of the train, he was a regular worker who didn’t get paid very much and was away from his family for a year at a time. The beginning of the story was Will going to meet his father at a train station, and had been away and was coming back home. He meets Maren while he is waiting.


The genre of this book is adventure and mystery. The book has a lot of suspense, especially when Brogan, is after Will. There are many close calls and many people die and get injured to help Will stay alive. It is also a mystery of what the weird key does and why Brogan had to kill someone to get it.


I think one of the themes in this book is about believing in yourself and you can achieve. When Will is running away from Brogan and some other men, he had to climb on top on the train while it was still moving. Not to mention the fact that it was nighttime and he could hardly see. The men were behind him so he had to jump onto the next train car. This is very dangerous and he could have fallen and died, but he would have had the same fate if he didn’t jump. This takes a lot of courage and but he believed in himself.


Finally, I was interested in this passage when Will is sitting down by a railroad his father helped build and he starts to daydream and imagines what it was like outside when his father was building it. Oppel writes:

“He follows the track west, where it’s quickly swallowed up by dense, snow-cloaked forest. His eyes lift to the towering mountains-like the very world has raised its gnarled fists to keep you out. How could you cut a road through such wilds? Clouds graze the icy peaks, painting restless shadows across the furrowed slopes of rock and snow. (p. 2-3)”


What I like about this passage is it shows the description the author puts into his writing from the very beginning. I also like that it feels like you are their too and are experiencing the same thing. The Boundless is an 8 out of 10.



Chloe Rozendaal  



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