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Around the World

Author/Illustrator: Matt Phelan

Publisher: Candlewick

Grade levels: 4-5, 6-8

Subject: History/Social Studies

Genre: Historical Fiction, Biography/Autobiography

Special Attractions: Nonfiction, Female Lead Characters

Synopsis: As the nineteenth century wound down, a public inspired by the novel Around the World in Eighty Days clamored for intrepid adventure. The challenge of circumnavigating the globe as no one ever had before–a feat assuring fame if not fortune–attracted the fearless in droves. Three hardy spirits stayed the course: In 1884, former miner Thomas Stevens made the journey on a bicycle, the kind with a big front wheel. In 1889, pioneer reporter Nellie Bly embarked on a global race against time that assumed the heights of spectacle, ushering in the age of the American celebrity. And in 1895, retired sea captain Joshua Slocum quietly set sail on a thirty-six-foot sloop, braving pirates and treacherous seas to become the first person to sail around the world alone. With cinematic pacing and deft, expressive art, acclaimed graphic novelist Matt Phelan weaves a trio of epic journeys into a single bold tale of three visionaries who set their sights on nothing short of the world.

Publishers Weekly review

Kirkus review

School Library Journal review

Publisher’s book site


Carolyn W. Field Award (Pennsylvania)

Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Nominee-Reality-Based

Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Nominee-Young Adults

Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices List

Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award – Nominee

ALA Great Graphic Novels for Teens

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

Booklist Editors’ Choice

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books – Bulletin Blue Ribbons

School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

Kirkus Reviews – Best Children’s Books of the Year