The Great Race: The Amazing Round-The-World Auto Race Of 1908 by Gary Blackwood
|The Great Race: The Amazing Round-The-World Auto Race Of 1908 by Gary Blackwood|
|Genre: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: A superb telling of the round the world automobile race of 1908. It's packed with adventure and excitement. It's written in such an engaging way that tweens, teens and adults alike will love every moment of it. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 144||Date: May 2008|
|Publisher: Abrams Books For Young Readers|
In 1908, Henry Ford's Model T hadn't yet brought cars to the masses. The pioneers of the world of automobiles were experimenting and discovering just what the car could do, by driving right round the world. Except they didn't want to be pioneers. One of the competitors, Antonio Scarfoglio, put it so perfectly when he said We had set out to perpetuate an act of splendid folly, not to open up a new way for men. We wished to be madmen, not pioneers. Isn't that about the best quote you've ever read?
Six cars set off, each with a crew of two or three, driving across America, then through Japan, Manchuria, Russia, and western Europe. Modern travellers like Charley Boorman may face a number of hardships, but try driving around the world with next to no roads, where finding fuel is a constant struggle, and with very few garages for the many spare parts you'll need. When deep mud is your only respite from deep snow, it's going to be a struggle. But it'll make for a fantastic read.
Bookbag recently loved Gary Blackwood's Mysterious Messages - A History of Codes and Ciphers, and relished the opportunity not only to interview him but also discover more of his work, like The Great Race. Much like Mysterious Messages, it's written in an engaging and dramatic way. Like the best non-fiction, it has the energy, passion and atmosphere of fiction, but never at the expense of information. The subject matter certainly helps the excitement - it's Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World with a healthy dose of Wacky Races thrown in for good measure. What's not to love? What's not to devour?
The Great Race is aimed at tweens, but willing confident readers who love cars and adventures will lap it up. Actually, older teens and adults will too. It's pitched appropriately at its young audience, but it's never really dumbed down. If you can cope with being told what scintillating means once, then it's a perfect travel book for any age. The characters leap off the page, the photos of the old timey cars help set the scene perfectly, and transport you to a different time and place. It's an amazing story perfectly written. I loved every word of it, and you will too.
My thanks to the author for sending it to Bookbag.
For more action and adventure, check out The Bumper Book of Bravery by Charlie Norton and Deadly Peril and How To Avoid It by Tracey Turner. If cars are your thing, then Cars - A Pop-Up Book Of Automobiles by Robert Crowther is worth a look.
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