cover image The Explorer

The Explorer

Katherine Rundell. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4814-1945-1

A plane crash strands four children in the Amazon in this mesmerizing tale of courage and adventure from Rundell (The Wolf Wilder). Fred, Con, Lila, and Lila’s five-year-old brother, Max, must face predators (including piranhas and caimans), growing hunger, and extreme elements if they hope to find their way back to civilization. A map, found by chance, charts their course, leading them to a ruined city of secrets. The dangers of the Amazon leap from the pages, as does the daring the main characters display amid overwhelming circumstances. Readers will be fascinated by the lengths the children go to in order to survive: “The grubs, when mixed with the cocoa beans and pounded with a clean stick, turned into a paste, which, if you squinted and were of an optimistic temperament, looked like flour and water.” A quieter thread contemplates the nature of exploration and curiosity, tying into the enigmatic city of ruins. Fans of survival stories like Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain are an ideal audience for this fast-paced escapade with a lush and captivating setting. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Claire Wilson, Rogers, Coleridge & White. (Sept.) [/em]