Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 8V5.058196

"A dreamy charmer of a book, full of clever wordplay that practically demands it be read out loud.”—New York Times

Have you ever wanted to hold a little piece of the impossible? The Doldrums is an extraordinary debut about friendship, imagination, and the yearning for adventure from author-artist Nicholas Gannon. A modern classic in the making, The Doldrums is for readers of inventive and timeless authors such as Brian Selznick and Lemony Snicket. The paperback edition is exquisitely illustrated throughout with black-and-white artwork.

Archer B. Helmsley wants an adventure. No, he needs an adventure. His grandparents were famous explorers . . . until they got stuck on an iceberg. Now Archer’s mother barely lets him out of the house. As if that would stop a true Helmsley. Archer enlists Adelaide—the girl who, according to rumor, lost her leg to a crocodile—and Oliver—the boy next door—to help him rescue his grandparents. The Doldrums whisks us off on an adventure full of sly humor, incredible detail, and enormous heart.

With approximately twenty full-page pieces of breathtaking black-and-white artwork, as well as spot illustrations, and gorgeous, literary writing, Nicholas Gannon proves himself to be a distinctive new voice with his middle grade debut. Be in it for the limitless imagination. For the characters who capture your heart. For the rich world you’ll want to settle into. But most of all, be in it for the friendship. That, after all, is the true adventure.

Published on October 8, 2015 by HarperCollins Children's Books
ISBN-10: 0008149399
ISBN-13: 9780008149390
5 Book Reviews
  • sll
    sllFriday, November 16, 2018 at 4:35 am55 stars
    this was one of my favorite books but the 2 one is even better in my opinon. But both of them are outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • bookwormilg
      bookwormilgSunday, February 18, 2018 at 7:47 pm55 stars
      This book was AMAZING!!! It had mystical, beautiful, illistrations, and the way of writing is just completely magical.
      • sportsgirl5537
        sportsgirl5537Friday, June 24, 2016 at 9:21 am44 stars
        I rally think that Nicholas Gannon is a great author.
        • aub112705
          aub112705Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 8:36 am55 stars
          it is amazing! I dont want to tell to much but the main characters are 2 boy and one girl from Paris who lost her leg ( she doesn't like to talk about it) but it was a awesome book it has amazing pictures and is a long book but dont let that so you down it has a least 300 pages. This is the best book I ever read I hope you read it and give it 5 stars.
          • harishwar
            harishwarTuesday, March 8, 2016 at 12:42 pmFeatured
            The Doldrums In this brilliant debut novel for children in the middle grades,The Doldrums, Nicholas Gannon introduces readers to the adventures, sometimes accidental, of an eccentric young dreamer named Archer B. Helmsley and his two equally eccentric friends. Nicholas Gage, the author of this book had a strong idea of making this book full of adventures and a good read for kids. The book itself falls into the category of Fantasy Fiction. If I rated this book I would give it a 5/5. My overall opinion on this book is that it made me laugh numerous times throughout this book and I would definitely recommend this book for all ages. Archer is growing up in a home filled with the magnificent collection of oddities owned by his grandparents, renowned explorers and adventurers Ralph and Rachel Helmsley. He is stuck inside of his own house not able to get out because of his parents. They do not want Archer to be like his grandparents and go of exploring when times are difficult for their family. Although he's never met them (except for the day of his birth), Archer's mother and father quickly recognize that he may be more like his grandparents than they prefer. "Some parents may wonder, How do we know we have the right one? after bringing their child home from the hospital. If Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley had such thoughts of their own, they were quickly extinguished. From the very beginning, Archer showed all the signs of being a Helmsley." This quote explained how they knew Archer was indeed a Helmsley and how the parents knew about it. From his age of birth he has always to talked to his stuffed animals. With his imagination he thinks that they are indeed human beings and treats them like them. If someone was reading this book for the first time, they might connect to James Bond movies because he travels the world and that is exactly what Archer plans to do when he gets older. Nicholas Gannon is now a well known author with his award winning book. The type of reader that may enjoy this book is someone who is into adventures and makes sure to read every single sentence in this action packed book.