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Monday, June 11, 2018

The Explorer, by Katherine Rundell. Simon & Schuster Books for Children, 2017. $21.95 ages 8 and up

"What was the expedition looking for?" asked Fred. "Various things. Some of the men were looking for a city, others for plants for a new medicine. I was just hungry to see the world. We were naïve, and clumsy. Two men died. But I loved it." The explorer began sketching a map in the dust. "You come this way - around the edge of the rapids by Dead Man's Point, and north. Water leaping up into your face ... "

The two books I have chosen to tell you about today were both published last year. I am sorry it has taken me an age to post them for you. You will soon understand why I chose to post the two together. It's a wonderful way to share this incredible story with your kids and your students.

First up is this wondrous tale of a plane crash, and the four children who survive it. Mostly unhurt, and with little knowledge of how to withstand the rigors of their environment, they carry on, overcoming their fears and working together to deal with their needs. It is a story of courage and adventure that you will not soon forget.

Fred, Con, Lila and Max have different reasons for being aboard the plane as it comes to its fateful end in the Amazon jungle. They discover a map, only by chance. Using it to help them find their way back to civilization is fraught with the many dangers inherent in a jungle landscape. It is not only the animals that threaten them; they also face hunger, thirst and the ever-changing weather.

The map leads them to a hidden city ... one that holds many secrets and is inhabited by a strange man who just might be a famous explorer who disappeared years ago.  He will not reveal his identity, and he will not travel with them. Using each of their unique interests, they continue moving toward a happier ending than the one they fear. The four show courage in the midst of danger, and leave readers astonished by their will to survive. Fast-paced, thrilling and memorable, it will garner many fans for this brilliant writer.

Katherine Rundell totally immerses her readers in the Amazon environment, a place she has visited.
Here's why she wrote her story:

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