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.
“An engrossing and inventive flight through the skies.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Echoes of Jules Verne and Roald Dahl add even more lift to this soaring debut.” — Booklist
“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.” — Publisher's Weekly
“Clara's story is heartfelt and moving, but it's also loaded with humor and adventure and imagination—the kind of story that will have young readers eager to keep reading.” — Shelf Discovery
"Wonderful and fantastical with depth." — Middle Grade Matters
"This book honestly surprised me at almost every page, and I truly had no idea what each leg of the race would bring us readers next. There is never a dull moment." — Forever Lost in Literature
"If you’re looking for a high-flying adventure perfect for summer reading, then look no further." — Cracking the Cover
"Do yourself a favor and pick up this book" — Starry Constellation Magazine
“I loved the plot of this book! 5 out of 5 hearts ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️” — Country Mamas with Kids
“This story is filled with adventure, mayhem, unexpected twists and turns, underhandedness, and sabotage... but it's always FULL TO THE BRIM with discoveries, friendship, acceptance, forgiveness, and finding yourself..” — Insatiable Readers