Bambert's Book of Missing Stories

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9780440420453: Bambert's Book of Missing Stories

One day, Mr. Bambert, a sweet but shy man, decides to send 11 stories out into the world. He attaches them to little hot-air balloons and lets them go on windy nights with a letter asking that whoever finds them sends them back—wherever the stories are returned from is where they will be set. The 11th story is blank—Bambert hopes it will write itself. Slowly the stories come back, with postmarks from all over the world, including one from the past. All that’s left is the last one, the one that has to write itself. . . .

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About the Author:

Reinhardt Jung was born in Germany in 1949 and worked with an international children’s organization before becoming head of children’s broadcasting in Stuttgart, Germany. He died in 1999.
From the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8–Bambert, a reclusive dwarf, writes stories in his Book of Wishes. After finishing 10 tales, he has room for just one more and decides that it is time to send them out into the world. He blots out all mention of time and place in the texts and ties each one to a tiny hot-air balloon along with a request that the finder return it with a note about where it landed. As the stories come back to him, each one is incorporated into the narrative along with the finders' situations. Bambert reflects on each tale, revealing some part of his soul or mentioning the lessons he has learned. Some of the selections are amusing; others are profound. After a vignette about two youngsters in war-torn Sarajevo, Bambert wonders, "How many great ideas still slumbering in small children had wars destroyed?" Finally, all of the tales but the 11th are returned. When he realizes the balloon holding the final story is stuck outside his attic window, he tries to free it, falls, and soon dies. It is up to Mr. Bloom, Bambert's landlord and only contact with the outside world, to write the last, true story, about his friend's final hours and his journey to a happier place. This very odd book is deeply affecting. The detached writing style somehow involves readers, conveying a full sense of the great spirits of the main characters. The use of the stories to illustrate Bambert's perceptions is wonderful. A truly unique and fascinating novel.–B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY
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