Book Club: Around the World in 80 Days

Besides having fallen way behind in recapping our book club sessions, I've also become terribly muddled in the order of the summaries. In an attempt to sort things out, let's go all the way back to May, 2015.

That month we read Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days, a fitting literary finale for our two-year geography study.

And where did Book Club meet on this auspicious day? In the Reform Club, of course! 

(If you aren't familiar with this delightful tale of round-the-world adventure, 
it begins and ends in a gentleman's club in London known as the Reform Club, 
which it turns out, is an actual place.)

The real Reform Club

Though our Reform Club bore some resemblance to the church gym, the Whist tables made it quite clear that this spot had an entirely different purpose for this one day.

Students received passports which were stamped at each station where they stopped to perform tasks representing events that happened along the route taken by Phileas Fogg and Passepartout!

A great deal of fun in the book comes from the many different modes of travel. We tried to replicate a few. Here are some highlights of our day:

Elephant Riding

Because the railroad didn't go all the way from Calcutta to Allahabad, the travelers buy an elephant at use that mode of travel.
Since we didn't have any local elephants, we used children as carriers. To create a howdah, two students locked hands, and a then a third child sat upon the seat while they ran around a designated course.


In Chapter 29 Phileas Fogg begins to duel with Colonel Proctor, but are interrupted by an Indian attack.
We used water pistols to give dueling a try.

Sledge Riding

Stuck on the American plains and twenty hours behind schedule and with no train available, Inspector Fix (the enemy!) comes up with a novel way to get to Omaha: a sledge with a sail!

We mimicked the sledge with a skateboard, and instead of wind-power, we used kid-power to pull it along.

Figuring out how to stay aboard the "sledge" was a bit tricky!

The girls had fun with the sledge riding, too

Finally we returned to the Reform Club where we enjoyed some lovely rhubarb pie and ice cream!


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