Clara Poole and the Long Way Round (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
Mr. Lemoncello meets the Amazing Race in this quirky high-octane balloon-racing middle grade around-the-world adventure.
When an unintended flight over Michigan in her class science project—a lawn chair held aloft by balloons—brings her instant celebrity, Clara Poole is invited to be the spokesperson for a round-the-world adventure race. But when her overprotective father refuses, Clara forges his signature in a moment of defiance and runs away to Paris to take her place in the skies. If only she’d read the fine print first.
Partnered with a veteran aeronaut who wants nothing to do with her, Clara faces down ten treacherous stages in a race around the world—capturing flags in the perilous mountains of Nepal; being a guest of honor at a maybe-wedding in the Saharan desert; flying through rings of fire in Hong Kong—all while learning the ropes alongside a colorful cast of international competitors.
But there are more dangers ahead. Someone is trying to sabotage the competition. And surviving this race means Clara must come to terms with the tragedy that set her fleeing to the skies in the first place, and accepting that forgiving herself isn’t a process she has to undertake alone.
Gorgeous prose and winning characters combine in this quirky, often-hilarious, sometimes heart-breaking, and thoroughly captivating middle grade adventure series starter from an incredible new talent.
About the Author
Taylor Tyng has worked as a designer, animator, film editor, and software CEO. He finds endless joy in writing for middle-grade readers, who are no longer children but not quite adults. He lives in an antique farmhouse in Massachusetts with his family.
"A madcap tale with oddball characters, intrigue, and new friendships made. Tyng’s prose is appropriately light and action verb–driven. . . ."—The Horn Book
"With plenty of heart and charm, Tyng’s fast-paced debut conjures excitement via a high-octane premise that’s tempered by laugh-out-loud humor and populated by idiosyncratic characters."—Publishers Weekly
"Tyng surrounds his plucky preteen protagonist with a sturdy and colorful supporting cast, lays out a series of thrilling exploits and dramatic turns as the ten-stage race sails over six continents, and provides both a clever climactic twist and a clear lead-in to sequels at the close. Echoes of Jules Verne and Roald Dahl add even more lift to this soaring debut."—Booklist
"An engrossing and inventive flight through the skies."—Kirkus Reviews