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Journey to the Center of the Earth (Sterling Unabridged Classics)
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Ages 10 and up What a stunning discovery: an old, coded note that actually contains directions for reaching the Earth's very core. And once he finds it, renowned geologist Professor Liedenbrock can't resist setting out with his 16-year-old nephew to go where only one man has gone before. Jules Verne takes young readers on one of the most incredible journeys ever imagined, from Iceland's frozen tundra far down into fantastic underground prehistoric worlds and back up again through the fires of an erupting volcano.
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Gr 4 Up-Both volumes begin with a spread featuring a quote from the original text. Characters are introduced on the following page, though many lack any useful context and some are very minor. The design is tidy, with ample white space. Quick paced by necessity, each story progresses in short two-page episodes, helped along by a few sentences of narration under each frame. Detailed illustrations in muted colors work with the stormy, furtive story in Kidnapped and the dim underground setting of Journey. Dramatic, action-filled scenes and highly expressive faces catch readers' eyes and pull them into the stories. The footnotes provided are useful for understanding the smattering of dialect, and a map shows the protagonist's travels. Each volume also includes a biographical sketch about the author, a chronology, articles providing context for the story, and a description of how the book has been received over time. Though perhaps less successful than The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Moby Dick (both Barron's, 2007), each book would serve as an attractive introduction to either Stevenson or Verne. Useful for libraries where these novels are taught or for schools building graphic-novel collections.-Neala Arnold, St. Francis Elementary School, MN Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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