AROUND THE WORLD IN 100 DAYS

It’s 1891, and young Harry Fogg’s obsession with automobiles has landed him in jail. His father, Phileas Fogg, and mother, Aouda, long for Harry to settle down and adopt a gentlemanly profession. When Harry lands in more hot water—wagering at his club that he can circle the globe by automobile in 100 days—Phileas finances the trip on the proviso that if Harry loses he will give up tinkering with cars. Accompanied by Johnny, friend and automotive genius, Charles, whose father is betting against Harry, and Elizabeth, journalist and proto-feminist, Harry sets off in his state-of-the-art, steam-powered car. Like his father, he’ll face daunting challenges both technical and human, including the presence of a saboteur. Blackwood retains what’s best from Around the World in 80 Days, by that forefather of steampunk, Jules Verne—the lighthearted humor, race against time, loyal friends and devious foes—while dropping the Eurocentrism; Harry’s mixed-race heritage and adventures in a world on the cusp of social upheaval provide a subtle contemporary subtext. The synthesis makes for a thrilling, thoroughly road-worthy joy ride. (Historical fiction. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-525-42295-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2010

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Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense.

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REFUGEE

In the midst of political turmoil, how do you escape the only country that you’ve ever known and navigate a new life? Parallel stories of three different middle school–aged refugees—Josef from Nazi Germany in 1938, Isabel from 1994 Cuba, and Mahmoud from 2015 Aleppo—eventually intertwine for maximum impact.

Three countries, three time periods, three brave protagonists. Yet these three refugee odysseys have so much in common. Each traverses a landscape ruled by a dictator and must balance freedom, family, and responsibility. Each initially leaves by boat, struggles between visibility and invisibility, copes with repeated obstacles and heart-wrenching loss, and gains resilience in the process. Each third-person narrative offers an accessible look at migration under duress, in which the behavior of familiar adults changes unpredictably, strangers exploit the vulnerabilities of transients, and circumstances seem driven by random luck. Mahmoud eventually concludes that visibility is best: “See us….Hear us. Help us.” With this book, Gratz accomplishes a feat that is nothing short of brilliant, offering a skillfully wrought narrative laced with global and intergenerational reverberations that signal hope for the future. Excellent for older middle grade and above in classrooms, book groups, and/or communities looking to increase empathy for new and existing arrivals from afar.

Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense. (maps, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-88083-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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An outstanding new edition of this popular modern classic (Newbery Award, 1961), with an introduction by Zena Sutherland and...

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS

Coming soon!!

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1990

ISBN: 0-395-53680-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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