Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel
This was our January book club selection. I'd never heard of it before, and it turned out to be an old-fashioned adventure novel like R. L. Stevenson or Jules Verne. Lots of fun: an intrepid cabin boy, a reckless spoiled girl, airships, pirates, shipwrecks, tropical islands, exotic creatures never seen before by man, and lashings of hair-raising escapes. Plus a new element!
The story is set on our world, but a slightly alternate history, in which zeppelins are the standard mode of air travel and airplanes do not exist. It's almost--but not really--steampunk, what with the Edwardian styles and the airships. Oppel gets around the whole flaming vessel of death problem by having the airships use a non-flammable gas-the unobtainium of gasses, in fact. A fun YA read.