Every kid's dream is to be named Most Valuable Player. But how many ever dream that the game is a race around the world (no flying allowed) in just 40 days? That's the challenge Adam Story faces in the Great Global Game. As the player for the *Magellan Voyage Project, he competes against 23 other players for a four-million-dollar prize! Of course the trackers in red sweat suits and hoodies with their blowguns and sleeping darts don't make things easy. Nor does the nefarious Baron von Sheepsbottom, who will stop at nothing to stop Adam. But it's time to go the game's afoot!Author Biography: Douglas Evans grew up in Ohio and Minnesota. He has a master's degree in education and has taught for 15 years in a variety of settings that range from a small logging town in Oregon to international schools in Helsinki and London. He lives in Berkeley, California. John Shelley was born in Birmingham, England. He became interested in ukiyo-e woodblock prints in 1984 and moved to Tokyo a few years later. Shelley is an authority on late eighteenth-century and Napoleonic military history. He also has a strong interest in underground music, and has been much involved both as event organizer and as an occasional DJ with the dance club scene in Tokyo.Publishers WeeklyThe title of Evans's (Math Rashes) picaresque novel refers to the Magellan Voyage Project, one of 24 groups sponsoring a 12-year-old participant in the Great Global Game. The most valuable player-and winner of a $4 million prize-will be the kid who can travel around the world fastest, using only surface transportation, within the allotted 40 days. Lured by the prospect of fame, fortune and adventure, San Francisco resident Adam, when approached by the MVP's leader, accepts the challenge. The boy believes he is the sole traveler rather than one of two dozen competitors in a race-but soon learns otherwise when he meets another player, Meredith, on a train headed to New York. The two meet up again-this time in a "detention center" in France to which, as part of the game, contestants are brought after they are captured by individuals called "trackers." After escaping from this facility, Adam and Meredith team up temporarily to travel east, until she sneaks off a train while they cross Siberia. Evans interjects some entertaining episodes and tidbits about various cultures, but extraneous detail, silly diversions ("I'll see England, I'll see France. I hope no one sees my underpants," he tells his MVP "pilot") and an overdose of palindromes burden the narrative. Readers may find the pace of Adam's journey sluggish and its resolution curiously anticlimactic. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.