I was sixteen when I first read this book. I was rather a cynical sixteen and exactly the wrong age to read this book. It didn't help that I was reading this book in my French IV class, when in French III, I had read Les Miserables and La Chanson de Roland. I didn't take anything seriously in my French IV class, including this book.
I read this book again in my twenties, and liked it, and then again in my thirties and really liked it, and again in my forties and absolutely loved it. At sixteen, I was neither the prince nor the pilot. In my twenties and thirties I was the pilot, and now, in my forties, I am either or both.
There is something so simple about this book that makes me want to read it to my five-year-old son. And there is something so profound about this book, that I want to read it over and over again (but just not at sixteen).