A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will pick up on some geography and history. Also, they will see how different journalism was at the time (not to mention, attitudes about women). Some may be inspired to read the Jules Verne classic Around the World in 80 Days.
Harry and his fellow travelers ban together to win the big prize. Beyond teamwork there are some other coming-of-age lessons as Harry not only proves himself but also finds his own direction for his life at last.
Positive Role Models
Harry is a rather thoughtless, directionless wealthy young man at the start of the book. He is kind to others and eventually finds himself through his hard journey. Readers will have no trouble rooting him along.
Violence & Scariness
Fistfights, Harry and his traveling companion are kidnapped, descriptions of a man who was kicked in the head by a horse. Harry's Indian mother explains how she escaped from her in-laws when they tried to force her to commit sati, an outlawed Hindu custom in which a window burns along with her dead husband.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Not an issue. A little spark between Henry and the female reporter -- but even the word flirtation is a bit of a stretch.
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A racial insult used against an Indian man. An angry woman exclaims that a situation is a "load of horse manure."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The book begins with Harry in prison, surrounded by a bunch of drunks.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sequel to Jules Verne's classic Around the World in 80 Days features some minor mayhem: Harry is arrested, gets into fistfights, and is even kidnapped. Readers will never be too worried about him though -- and they will have no trouble rooting him along. Harry is a rather thoughtless, directionless wealthy young man at the start of the book, but he finds himself through his hard journey. Readers will pick up on some geography and history during the exciting journey, and may even be inspired to read Verne's original novel.
Is It Any Good?
There's definitely a little something for everyone here: This is an adventure story, a history lesson, and a coming-of-age tale all wrapped up into one. There's even a little bit of mystery (who is sabotaging the Flash?) -- and a hint of romance, thanks to a strong-willed female journalist who comes along for the ride. Readers who are paying close attention will find some interesting historical details about life around the turn of the century, and those familiar with Verne's original story will appreciate how details from the first book are worked into this sequel. But even those just looking for a fun, fast-moving story to race through will find plenty to hold their interest as Harry and his traveling companions face arrest, kidnapping, vandals -- and worst of all, the threat of losing the bet.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.