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AROUND THE WORLD IN 100 DAYS by Gary Blackwood Kirkus Star

AROUND THE WORLD IN 100 DAYS

By Gary Blackwood

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-525-42295-2
Publisher: Dutton

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)