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by Kathleen Karr

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-7614-5348-2
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Karr’s latest is a fictionalized account of Henry Morton Stanley’s Expedition for the Relief of Emin Pasha of 1887. Sixteen-year-old Tom Ormsby knows he’s born for adventure and spends much of his time reading penny dreadfuls. Tom can’t believe his good luck when he secures a position as general dogsbody with the illustrious explorer Henry Morton Stanley on his latest expedition into deepest, darkest Africa. The expedition has many hardships (glaring heat, lack of food and water, attacks by angry tribes), which test even Tom’s good nature. Tom begins to wonder if he’ll ever see his beloved mother and two younger sisters again. Tom is a likable hero whose adventures read like a dime novel. Lucky for Tom, his quick thinking and resourcefulness make him indispensable and, along with his kindness toward the African porters, save him from several near-fatal mishaps. Karr’s story has plenty of humor and gives readers a front-row seat in one of Stanley’s thrilling yet perilous expeditions. (author note) (Historical fiction. 12-15)