Record Breakers


Give Me Guinness

Around The World by Matt PhelanOne of the types of books kids love to request are world record books. The Guinness Book of World Records is a long-standing favorite. Did you know Guinness has a website?

World Records, 1800s Edition

But what about before that? Back in 1873, an entire generation’s competitive spirit was ignited when Around the World in Eighty Days was published. Jules Vernes’s classic story of travel inspired many adventurous folks to embark on their own journeys across the world.

In Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys, Matt Phelan tells the story of three people who made worldwide trips that broke records in the 1800s. I recently booktalked this title to some 4th graders and they were fascinated by the stories of Thomas Stevens (a bicyclist), Nellie Bly (an early feminist who traveled by ship), and Joshua Slocum (a mysterious mariner). Their stories are presented in an extremely readable graphic novel format and Phelan is a marvelous storyteller who captures the excitement, humor, and action of each journey.

Visit Matt Phelan's blog, Planet Ham.

Watch the Book Trailer for Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys


Author Bio:

Karen Choy is the youth services librarian in Half Moon Bay. As a child, she was fond of the time Bobby and Cindy tried to break a record in the "Teeter-Totter Caper" episode of The Brady Bunch.

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