By Matt Phelan
Candlewick Press, $24.99, 235 pages
When author Jules Verne published Around the World in Eighty Days at the end of the 19th century, the public was greatly inspired and yearned to set out on their own worldwide journeys. Matt Phelan profiles the lives of three such adventurers in his book Around the World. Although primarily written in graphic novel format, Phelan communicates a lot of information through his carefully chosen words and beautiful illustrations. There is a nice balance of both.
In 1884, former miner Thomas Stevens left his job and made a trip around the world on an old fashioned bicycle with a big front wheel. In 1889, pioneer female reporter Nellie Bly participated in a global race to beat Verne’s estimate of 80 days. She reported from her destinations and gained a huge following. In 1895, retired sea captain Joshua Slocum set sail on a 36-foot sloop and became the first person to sail around the world alone. Each story ends with an epilogue that explains what happened to each traveler after they arrived home. These three adventure tales show young readers that anything is possible when you set your sights on a big goal.