The Explorer
From Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner Katherine Rundell comes an exciting new novel about a group of kids who must survive in the Amazon after their plane crashes.Fred, Con, Lila, and Max are on their way back to England from Manaus when the plane they’re on crashes and the pilot dies upon landing. For days they survive alone, until Fred finds a map that leads them to a ruined city, and to a secret.

The Explorer Details

TitleThe Explorer
Author
ReleaseSep 12th, 2017
PublisherSimon Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781481419451
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Adventure, Fiction

The Explorer Review

  • Kiran Hargrave
    January 1, 1970
    I have FEELINGS about this book. It's full of Rundell's trademark warmth, wit, & staggering scene setting - you feel the heat of the jungle, taste the kids' fear & hope, all the myriad details - & the utter exuberance of the adventure is joyful. I love every one of Rundell's stories but she gets more assured each time - this was everything I wanted it to be & more. Read it. It's for you, even if you don't think it is. Glorious.
    more
  • Bridget
    January 1, 1970
    What a gloriously wonderful book. The completely absorbing story of four children whose plane crashes in the Amazon jungle, they are utterly alone and learn to survive using common sense and good luck. The pace is great, the things that happen to the children all seem to fit with the situation even though they are completely fantastic. They decide to try to get home using a map they've found, strap a raft together using intuition and set off to try and escape their situation. The river carries t What a gloriously wonderful book. The completely absorbing story of four children whose plane crashes in the Amazon jungle, they are utterly alone and learn to survive using common sense and good luck. The pace is great, the things that happen to the children all seem to fit with the situation even though they are completely fantastic. They decide to try to get home using a map they've found, strap a raft together using intuition and set off to try and escape their situation. The river carries them to meet The Explorer, a man with no name and a mysterious past. He is vastly irritated to have these children turn up in his space but ends up being their saviour. The detail in the book is just wonderful, the food that they children survive on, tarantula eggs and other jungle treats! The sounds of the animals and birds are beautifully described. The writing just carries you away into the world of the Amazon. There are lots of wonderful moments. The children are perfectly described and The Explorer is so cleverly done, the lonely man with no need for the outside world an fighting to right the damage that has been done to the environment. I found myself highlighting lots of lovely passages. I found myself quite emotional at time the story quite moved me, the parting words of The Explorer as the children begin their journey back to civilisation are just gorgeous. 'And all of you - do not forget that, lost out here, you were brave even in your sleep. Do not forget to take risks. Standing ovations await your bravery,' Con swallowed. 'But I'm afraid,' she whispered. The Explorer nodded, scarred and dusty and matter-of-fact. 'You are right to be afraid. Be brave anyway.'Thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for giving me access to this book. I'll be buying multiple copies for school, the students who've loved survival stories like Hatchet will love this.
    more
  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic adventure book. What I love about Katherine Rundell's books is the way they tell an amazing tale, yet weaves in themes ideas that make you think about how you do things. Hand this book to kids who love Hatchet and Watt Key's books.
  • Robin Stevens
    January 1, 1970
    Katherine is one of the best writers in children's literature at the moment, and this is another tour de force from her. Lush, beautifully imagined, heartfelt, wildly exciting, it transported me to the Amazon and made me live with its characters until the end (although I was crying so hard during the last ten pages that I may have missed small details). Beautiful, beautiful stuff. Bravo! 8+*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material Katherine is one of the best writers in children's literature at the moment, and this is another tour de force from her. Lush, beautifully imagined, heartfelt, wildly exciting, it transported me to the Amazon and made me live with its characters until the end (although I was crying so hard during the last ten pages that I may have missed small details). Beautiful, beautiful stuff. Bravo! 8+*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
    more
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARc from Netgalley.comFour children flying back to England in a vague post WWII period crash in the Amazon when their pilot has a fatal medical issue. From there, Fred, Con, Lila, and her five year old brother Max have to try to make it to get help in Manaus, Brazil. Along the way, they find clues in small tins, try to survive on the water and food they find, and adopt a baby sloth. Eventually, they find another human, but he is an irritable man who is still grieving over his lostv wife and ch E ARc from Netgalley.comFour children flying back to England in a vague post WWII period crash in the Amazon when their pilot has a fatal medical issue. From there, Fred, Con, Lila, and her five year old brother Max have to try to make it to get help in Manaus, Brazil. Along the way, they find clues in small tins, try to survive on the water and food they find, and adopt a baby sloth. Eventually, they find another human, but he is an irritable man who is still grieving over his lostv wife and child, and barely helps them. When young Max becomes gravely ill, he finally decides to help the children by showing Fred how to fly a plane he has stored. Strengths: This had a lot of good details about the flora and fauna in the Amazon, and the steps one might need to take in order to survive there. There's a decent amount of introspection about the life to which the children will return, and the visit with the Explorer has its moments of intrigue.Weaknesses: By page 100, I was ready to cook Max for supper, and by page 200, I was ready for everyone to perish in the wilderness, including the Explorer. Rundell seems to write characters whom I personally dislike, for qualities other people seem to fine charming. What I really think: Everyone else seems to think that this is So Much More Than an Ordinary Survival Story, but... meh. It was fine, but nothing spectacular.
    more
  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a huge fan of Katherine Rundell ever since I curled up with ROOFTOPPERS on a sunny afternoon in England. And though this was very different, it... might actually be my favorite of her works to date. The world of the Amazon is brought into stark, poetic clarity--as one always expects from a book by Rundell. I had nearly forgotten how, as a kid, I was completely fascinated by the Amazon, completely engrossed in learning about survival in that part of the world. But this book reawoke al I have been a huge fan of Katherine Rundell ever since I curled up with ROOFTOPPERS on a sunny afternoon in England. And though this was very different, it... might actually be my favorite of her works to date. The world of the Amazon is brought into stark, poetic clarity--as one always expects from a book by Rundell. I had nearly forgotten how, as a kid, I was completely fascinated by the Amazon, completely engrossed in learning about survival in that part of the world. But this book reawoke all that wonder and fear and excitement. I just loved it. This is a fabulous read for any kid (or adult) who has contemplated becoming an explorer but lacked the luck of being thrust in the middle of an adventure. The characters shine on the page, each of them fiercely real. Thank you, Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the free ARC. I can't wait to buy my own and put it on my shelf!
    more
  • Brittney
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this book. It's a fantastic story about friendship and adventures. The four main characters in this book -- Fred, Lila, Con, and Max -- are such vivid, raw, and real characters, and I completely adored every single one of them. This book always left me wanting more -- more of the characters, more of the story, more of everything. The Explorer was fantastic; it's characters will be staying with me for a while.
    more
  • MissSophie
    January 1, 1970
    Katherine Rundell's done it again! I couldn't stop reading and finished it in one day. I loved the characters, how she was describing the jungle and I may have even shed some tears because of the last two chapters... Just a beautifully written story for everyone who loves adventure-stories, with a bit of depth to it.
    more
  • Latkins
    January 1, 1970
    This is an exciting children's adventure story, about a group of four children who find themselves alone in the Amazon jungle after their plane crashes. Fred has always wanted to be an explorer, but is a bit scared to have his dream come true so quickly. Con, initially moody and unimpressed by their predicament, proves to have hidden skills, as does the more practical and forthright Brazilian girl Lila, who has her hands full looking after her little brother, the erratic Max. Much more Swallows This is an exciting children's adventure story, about a group of four children who find themselves alone in the Amazon jungle after their plane crashes. Fred has always wanted to be an explorer, but is a bit scared to have his dream come true so quickly. Con, initially moody and unimpressed by their predicament, proves to have hidden skills, as does the more practical and forthright Brazilian girl Lila, who has her hands full looking after her little brother, the erratic Max. Much more Swallows & Amazons than Lord of the Flies, as the children come together to help each other, getting over all their petty arguments and squabbles, this is nonetheless a compelling tale with an important underlying message about cooperation and conservation. I liked the fact that it was clearly set some time in the past, but that this didn't really matter, as you can relate the to characters easily. Great stuff!
    more
  • Sarah Pickles
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve just come back from the Amazon jungle - well at least after reading Rundell’s The Explorer it certainly feels that way. I can almost taste the sweat and the smell of roasted birds and fish .’The Explorer’ is an exciting tale of caimans, tarantulas, piranhas and four ‘undercooked adults’ who have crashed in the Amazon, and the struggles of the four children to be brave, be friends, and ultimately to survive. I loved ‘Rooftoppers’, ‘Wolf Wilder’ and ‘Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms’ and this di I’ve just come back from the Amazon jungle - well at least after reading Rundell’s The Explorer it certainly feels that way. I can almost taste the sweat and the smell of roasted birds and fish .’The Explorer’ is an exciting tale of caimans, tarantulas, piranhas and four ‘undercooked adults’ who have crashed in the Amazon, and the struggles of the four children to be brave, be friends, and ultimately to survive. I loved ‘Rooftoppers’, ‘Wolf Wilder’ and ‘Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms’ and this didn’t disappoint. Rundell says that in writing this story she wanted to remind children that they can be brave and this is a great adventure that kids will surely love. I connected with the book’s message that "Every human on this earth is an explorer." As an avid traveller I couldn’t agree more but I always thought I had no survival skills and after reading this novel I know I wouldn’t stand five minutes if I had been in their place. Rundell’s language and humour are two elements that I really enjoy in her novels and this was no exception. I always enjoy being transported through Rundell's rich descriptive prose to exotic locations, whether Southern Africa, the Russian snow or Parisian rooftops, and now the Amazon jungle. I loved the explorer’s appeal to the children, ‘When you get home, tell them how large the world is, and how green. And tell them that the beauty of the world makes demands on you. They will need reminding. If you believe the world is small and tawdry, it is easier to be so yourself. But the world is so tall and so beautiful a place." Amen! Let us all keep exploring and appreciating the vastness and beauty of the world! Thank you @NetGalley for the ARC! I have already ordered it for @PIELibrary and know our international students/explorers will love it!
    more
  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    THE EXPLORER is not your typical adventure story. Yes, a plane crashes in the Amazon jungle (Hatchet-style), stranding four kids who try to make their way home. But along the way Rundell reminds us that the most important exploring is that of the inner world, so that we might pay closer attention to the wonders of the world around us. Her prose is palpable, and each character (down to little Baca the sloth) is superbly sketched. If I didn't know it before, I know it now--Rundell is THE master of THE EXPLORER is not your typical adventure story. Yes, a plane crashes in the Amazon jungle (Hatchet-style), stranding four kids who try to make their way home. But along the way Rundell reminds us that the most important exploring is that of the inner world, so that we might pay closer attention to the wonders of the world around us. Her prose is palpable, and each character (down to little Baca the sloth) is superbly sketched. If I didn't know it before, I know it now--Rundell is THE master of middle grade.
    more
  • Adele Broadbent
    January 1, 1970
    Fred, Con, Lila and her 5 yr old brother Max are all in a small plane together when the pilot has a heart attack and dies. They crash into the Amazon Jungle. Frightened but alive, they have to get to know each other and learn to work together.They are quickly fascinated by the green world around them, teeming with birds, colour and wildlife, but they know they have to try and get home. On the way, they discover things they never imagined they would find on the journey, along with discoveries abo Fred, Con, Lila and her 5 yr old brother Max are all in a small plane together when the pilot has a heart attack and dies. They crash into the Amazon Jungle. Frightened but alive, they have to get to know each other and learn to work together.They are quickly fascinated by the green world around them, teeming with birds, colour and wildlife, but they know they have to try and get home. On the way, they discover things they never imagined they would find on the journey, along with discoveries about themselves - courage, friendship and determination, and then finally a pact between them to keep their secret.Pure adventure, The Explorer is yet another wonderful tale by award winning Katherine Rundell. Fans of Hatchet and Bear Gryls will love this tale of survival, learning to fish at night, catch tarantulas to cook, and making snares among the many lessons learnt by the characters.
    more
  • Jim From YAYeahYeah
    January 1, 1970
    This was my most anticipated book of the year and absolutely lived up to my expectations. A historical MG novel following four children whose plane crashes in the Amazon jungle when their pilot has a heart attack, it's as lyrical as ever from my favourite current author. All of the characters are brilliantly rendered, the setting is so vivid I could practically taste it, and the book tackles hugely important themes of bravery, friendship, trust, man's relationship to nature, and the importance o This was my most anticipated book of the year and absolutely lived up to my expectations. A historical MG novel following four children whose plane crashes in the Amazon jungle when their pilot has a heart attack, it's as lyrical as ever from my favourite current author. All of the characters are brilliantly rendered, the setting is so vivid I could practically taste it, and the book tackles hugely important themes of bravery, friendship, trust, man's relationship to nature, and the importance of hope, love and of looking after each other. Best of the year so far for me, and joins Rooftoppers and The Wolf Wilder, also by Rundell, in my all-time top 10.
    more
  • Karina
    January 1, 1970
    My heart! What a wonderful book - I gulped it down and know I would have absolutely devoured it as a child. After a plane crash, four children, strangers to each other, are lost and alone in the Amazon rainforest; somehow, they must work together to find water, food, shelter - and the way home.It has absolutely everything an adventurous heart could desire...
    more
  • Munro's Kids
    January 1, 1970
    What a marvelous tale of strength, courage, perseverance, and wisdom. I do like wilderness adventure stories, and this one had not just a fascinating, wild, complex setting (the Amazon jungle), but also great characters (not all just white kids!). While the plot, setting, and characters are excellent, Rundell adds even more depth and content to the story in her illustration of the idea of exploration versus exploitation (without hitting you over the head with it). -Emilee
    more
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Best book read so far this year! Review to Come!
  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    This is a really well written book, but just not my genre.
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    *4.5. Such a heart-warming read.
  • Allison M
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book, free, from NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ).I am still trying to decide quite why I love this book. At several points it reads as though it is some sort of manual, a 'Young Person's Guide to Surviving in the Jungle' that at the last moment has been converted into fiction. The writer rightly removes world exploration from world exploitation and empire but in doing so makes being a modern-day explorer an option only for those with independent income as w I received this book, free, from NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ).I am still trying to decide quite why I love this book. At several points it reads as though it is some sort of manual, a 'Young Person's Guide to Surviving in the Jungle' that at the last moment has been converted into fiction. The writer rightly removes world exploration from world exploitation and empire but in doing so makes being a modern-day explorer an option only for those with independent income as well as independent attitude. And yet...And yet there is real magic here, for example in Lila's love for the sloth: 'Lila didn't seem to be breathing. But it was as if a light came out of her; she seemed to glow out into the forest.' and 'Lila shook. Every part of her radiated longing'. This is an adventure book. This is a disaster book. This is a book about growing up, growing into oneself, and exploring the world physically emotionally and philosophically. This novel is not flawless but it is a breath-taking, wondrous read, rather like the rain-forest itself.'It looked, Fred thought, like someone had designed it [the rain forest] with a purpose in mind: someone who wanted the world to be as wild and green and alive as possible'.
    more
  • Tara Russell
    January 1, 1970
    This is an absolute gem of a book! A rip-roaring adventure story in the grand tradition of 20th century children's fiction, but with a subtlety to it that captivates. Four children are in a plane that crash lands in the Amazon jungle, this is the story of how they survive. It's total, pure escapist reading at its best, but with a strong undercurrent of self-discovery for the characters. I have a soft spot for all the characters, even 5 year old Max who threatens to wee on people if he doesn't li This is an absolute gem of a book! A rip-roaring adventure story in the grand tradition of 20th century children's fiction, but with a subtlety to it that captivates. Four children are in a plane that crash lands in the Amazon jungle, this is the story of how they survive. It's total, pure escapist reading at its best, but with a strong undercurrent of self-discovery for the characters. I have a soft spot for all the characters, even 5 year old Max who threatens to wee on people if he doesn't like what they say!I loved The Explorer and flew through it!ARC received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Alexandra Plumb
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved The Explorer. This was the third of Katherine Rundell's books I've read and the best so far - even better than Rooftoppers.The story revolves around four children surviving in the Amazon rainforest following a plane crash. It was filled with adventure, excitement and was gripping throughout. The characters were developed thoroughly and the plot followed the journey they went on.I teach Year 6 and this is definitely going on my list of recommendations and I plan to use it as a I absolutely loved The Explorer. This was the third of Katherine Rundell's books I've read and the best so far - even better than Rooftoppers.The story revolves around four children surviving in the Amazon rainforest following a plane crash. It was filled with adventure, excitement and was gripping throughout. The characters were developed thoroughly and the plot followed the journey they went on.I teach Year 6 and this is definitely going on my list of recommendations and I plan to use it as a class text next year. This book will inspire so many fantastic creative writing opportunities .
    more
  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    Before diving into my thoughts on the book I would like to note that I received a copy of The Explorer by Katherine Rundell through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. When I first entered the giveaway I wasn't paying attention to genre, I was struck by the description given. From the inside dust jacket: "From his seat in the tiny airplane, Fred watches the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass by below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of reading his name amon Before diving into my thoughts on the book I would like to note that I received a copy of The Explorer by Katherine Rundell through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. When I first entered the giveaway I wasn't paying attention to genre, I was struck by the description given. From the inside dust jacket: "From his seat in the tiny airplane, Fred watches the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass by below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of reading his name among the lists of great adventurers. If only he could land and look about him. As the plane smashes into the canopy, Fred is suddenly left without a choice. He and three other children may be alive, but the jungle is a vast untamed place. With no hope of rescue, the chance of getting home feels terrifyingly small. Except, it seems, someone has been there before them...". As the description from the dust jacket insinuates, this novel is a tale of four children who survive a plane crash in the Amazon. The children must come together to find a way to survive in the Amazon with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Once they find a way to survive they must then find a way to return home. This novel is intended for younger audiences (Grades 3-7/Ages 8-12); however, at the age of 26 I found it to be a light hearted, enjoyable read. The children in the novel are all wildly different. Fred is a boy who battled a life threatening illness and craves adventure like the men in the novels he reads. He is not one to shy away from a challenge or risky behavior in order to survive. Con has been coddled and primped her whole life, forced to act like a proper girl. She is often abrasive throughout the beginning of the novel, questioning each of the other children's decisions. By the end of the book though she has undergone a lot of character development and she starts to embrace life in the Amazon. Lila and Max are siblings. Max is a typical five year old boy who wants to get his way always, but he is perhaps the most observant and honest of the group. Lila is an animal lover and the most level headed of the group. I found myself identifying more with her character than any of the others as I have a younger brother and am very passionate about animals. The Amazon provides a multitude of challenges for the children to overcome. They must learn how to find food, shelter, and drinkable water. They must battle wildlife, befriend animals, and learn from animals how to forage for food. While trying to survive in the wild jungle, they must also come up with a plan to make it back to civilization. They come across a clue tied in a tree, that leads them on their next leg of adventure, but what they find at the end of the map is completely unexpected. Perhaps the children aren't as alone as they think they are. Throughout the novel the children learn about life and the preservation of nature. They also have to face many tough decisions and do things that make them uncomfortable, but in the end they have an adventure of a lifetime. Despite the fact that this novel was intended for younger audiences, I think that adults will enjoy reading it with their children (or even by themselves). It reminded me of the simplicity of childhood and how difficult the transition can be into adulthood. It was a fast paced adventure story that I found hard to put down, because I had to know what happened next. I gave it 4 out 5 stars due to a few structural errors that made some sentences hard to read. I would be willing to go with Fred (and the gang) on another adventure.
    more
  • Pop Bop
    January 1, 1970
    A Briskly Paced, Middle Grade, Amazon AdventureFour kids stranded by a plane crash have to pull themselves together, figure out how to survive in the Amazon, and find some way home. I enjoyed the ride.The book is aimed at a much younger readership than I expected. There's a touch of magical realism, a bit of "Survivor", a hint of "Lost City of Z", and it's a lot more "The Little Prince" than "Lord of the Flies". That's not a criticism, and I would actually encourage younger readers to consider t A Briskly Paced, Middle Grade, Amazon AdventureFour kids stranded by a plane crash have to pull themselves together, figure out how to survive in the Amazon, and find some way home. I enjoyed the ride.The book is aimed at a much younger readership than I expected. There's a touch of magical realism, a bit of "Survivor", a hint of "Lost City of Z", and it's a lot more "The Little Prince" than "Lord of the Flies". That's not a criticism, and I would actually encourage younger readers to consider this as an excellent and entertaining introduction to travel/adventure.Our four heroes are never especially well developed. The main character, Fred, has led a sheltered life, but the hero-adventurer within is unleashed by the plane crash and he rises to the occasion. He is the strongest and clearly the most central character. The girl Con is squeamish and a bit spoiled/mean, but she grows up a good deal during the ordeal. The brother/sister team of Lila and Max is interesting, in that Lila is very solid and competent, but is tasked with mostly caretaking five year old Max. Max is almost there to be comic relief, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I sketched in these impressions of the characters mostly to emphasize the point that the book is for younger readers, and that these characters probably won't hold the interest of many older readers.We follow the kids as they escape the crash, figure out where they are, build a raft, and head for what they hope will be civilization. There are very brief scenes that involve making a fire, building a shelter, looking for water and food, figuring out that there are things like piranha in the river, and so on. The pace is so brisk and the scenes are so brief that the adventure just flies by. Again, the idea seems to be to give the reader a sense of and a taste for adventure tales of this sort without losing the reader. An interesting twist is that the kids ultimately meet up with "The Explorer" who remains a mysterious and troubled figure. Early on in the story Fred told the others the tale of Percy Fawcett and the lost city of "Z", and this part of the book seems to echo the Fawcett legend. While The Explorer is a romantic maniac who's part Heart of Darkness Kurtz, part Indiana Jones, and part lost soul, he brings welcome energy to the tale and indirectly challenges each of the kids to decide what kind of person they want to be. He nicely balances the kids and helps to ground the tale.My bottom line is that I didn't read this as some sort of realistic adventure tale. It's a bit dreamier and soft for that. It struck me as more of a coming-of-age tale with a side of rainforest. For an ambitious young reader this could have real appeal.(Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
    more
  • Rabiah
    January 1, 1970
    Originally posted at: https://iliveforreading.blogspot.com/...I've always had Katherine Rundell's books on my to-read list, so when I got the chance to review her upcoming book, I jumped at the opportunity. I mean, it sounded like the sort of book I loved reading when I was younger, and it had some major Hatchet vibes to it (throwback to those primary school days!). However, what intrigued me most of all, other than the need to know how this group of kids will survive, was the setting. How often Originally posted at: https://iliveforreading.blogspot.com/...I've always had Katherine Rundell's books on my to-read list, so when I got the chance to review her upcoming book, I jumped at the opportunity. I mean, it sounded like the sort of book I loved reading when I was younger, and it had some major Hatchet vibes to it (throwback to those primary school days!). However, what intrigued me most of all, other than the need to know how this group of kids will survive, was the setting. How often is it that we see a book that isn't a fantasy/sci-fi that takes place somewhere else other than the US or the UK or Europe? The answer, my dear friends, is that yes, there are books out there, but the numbers are very very small in comparison to the mainstream settings that a lot of middle grade and young adult stories take place in. This one though? THE AMAZON. THE FLIPPING AMAZON JUNGLE, YOU GUYS. Count me in for this adventure!I loved the varying personalities of the children. Fred seemed to be the main character, the narration primarily focusing on his thoughts and feelings, but the other three characters also definitely got close to equal page time too. I loved Max, even though I'm sure he would annoy me endlessly if I was ever stuck in the jungle with him–or give me a heart attack for that matter with the amount of times he disobeys his sister or disappears–but he was still an adorable 5-year old with some hilarious lines. Lila was such a sweet character, I totally identified with her, also being the oldest sibling and constantly having to chastise and make sure that people stay in order. And despite the rather chilly beginning, Con's character really grew on me. I loved her sarcasm; it added to the humour in an otherwise serious situation. Fred's character, while he definitely had an interesting emotional backstory, did some pretty stupid reckless things. Still, though–it makes for an good story.The only problem I had was this book had more to do with the ARC rather than the actual book. THERE WAS NO ARTWORK!!! I absolutely adore artwork in books, and what makes me really happy about middle grade books is the fact that many of them feature artwork that intertwines with the written narrative. However, much to my disdain, there wasn't any in the proof copy. If the cover is any indication though, I'm sure the illustrations in the final book are going to be gorgeous.An enjoyable survival adventure with more than a few shiver-inducing twists, The Explorer fits in with the likes of notable children's classics. Katherine Rundell's storytelling abilities will captivate readers of all ages, hooking them in from start to finish. Don't miss out on this one–it's gripping, it's terrific, and it's magical. ▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪
    more
  • Vonprice
    January 1, 1970
    From it's opening sentence:"Like a man-made magic wish, the plane began to rise"I knew that this was going to be an extraordinary book. Once again Katherine Rundell has written a gripping adventure which at times makes you read so fast that you forget to breathe, but simultaneously compels you to skid to a halt to re-read her beautifully constructed sentences. It would appear that she will never resort to a cliched description when her seemingly endless imagination can create images such as a di From it's opening sentence:"Like a man-made magic wish, the plane began to rise"I knew that this was going to be an extraordinary book. Once again Katherine Rundell has written a gripping adventure which at times makes you read so fast that you forget to breathe, but simultaneously compels you to skid to a halt to re-read her beautifully constructed sentences. It would appear that she will never resort to a cliched description when her seemingly endless imagination can create images such as a distant father being described as "wrapped tightly in his pinstripe days."I don't want to include any plot spoilers, but the story concerns four children who find themselves lost in the Amazon jungle following a plane crash. The children are wonderfully believable and I think young readers will be happy to identify with them. The first part of the novel focuses on their desperate quest to survive, whilst the latter part sees their personalities develop and broadens into themes of courage, ecology and love. The descriptions of the "food" consumed by the children are grotesque enough to delight any child and churn the stomach of most adults! This is a book that I would have loved to read aloud to my own children (had it been available then). I can imagine it becoming a hugely popular class reader and I will certainly be buying a copy for my school ready for the start of term. In my opinion, Katherine Rundell's writing is set apart by her ability to observe the beauty in places and people and her apparent urgency to communicate the importance of wholehearted engagement with the world to her readers. She manages to do this with such a light touch that her stories are thoroughly enjoyable and never appear preachy. I would certainly add this to my top 10 children's books list.
    more
  • Thomas Shepherd
    January 1, 1970
    After Rooftoppers any book by Katherine Rundell was going to face a tall order. Where here last book, The Wolf Wilder, delved into the dark and mysterious world of the Russian forest and a history of fairy stories, this, her latest seems to take us back to the territory of her debut novel, The Girl Savage. For this reason whilst I was both in equal excited to read The Explorer I was also nervous for it. I read Rooftoppers first and The Girl Savage didn't have quite that energy and imagination. T After Rooftoppers any book by Katherine Rundell was going to face a tall order. Where here last book, The Wolf Wilder, delved into the dark and mysterious world of the Russian forest and a history of fairy stories, this, her latest seems to take us back to the territory of her debut novel, The Girl Savage. For this reason whilst I was both in equal excited to read The Explorer I was also nervous for it. I read Rooftoppers first and The Girl Savage didn't have quite that energy and imagination. The Explorer, on the face of it, seemed like it might be a return to that. I was wrong...This is an adventure that is in part a Lord of the Flies story of children stranded in the Amazon jungle when the plane they are travelling in crashes and the pilot is killed. They have to battle the dangers of the jungle, find food, form friendships, and face the demons of their old past. As we follow their journey both literal and metaphorical through their journey we wonder who The Explorer is of the title? Fred maybe? Or Con...?Then they stumble into a lost Mayan city and the explorer is revealed - sort of - and the story changes pace again, and one that leads them in finally escaping the jungle and reaching home. Only at the very end is it hinted at who the actual explorer of the title is. The Explorer is as brilliantly a timeless story as all the best stories are. I'd place it post-colonial in time but the issues and ideas covered by it are still every bit as current. The authors note to explorers at the end is an important reminder to us not to take our place in the world too comfortably.
    more
  • Stephanie - Adventures Thru Wonderland
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC digital copy through EdelweissAh! I'm so glad I was able to read this one! I love a good survival story, but it's been a while since I've read one. I enjoyed all the feels this story brought, and loved the characters, the setting, and the writing! The story was well told, and I love how the author used some of her own experiences to enhance the story! I have always wanted to be a missionary, and to travel the world helping people. This story re-awoke that desire, and reminded m I received an ARC digital copy through EdelweissAh! I'm so glad I was able to read this one! I love a good survival story, but it's been a while since I've read one. I enjoyed all the feels this story brought, and loved the characters, the setting, and the writing! The story was well told, and I love how the author used some of her own experiences to enhance the story! I have always wanted to be a missionary, and to travel the world helping people. This story re-awoke that desire, and reminded me that not only do other countries offer a chance to explore and help people, but that there are people all around me who need a friend and a helping hand, and that life is an adventure, all we have to do it enjoy the ride.I loved the explorer, and while I enjoyed all the characters, I loved how he was both wild and loving, wise and slightly mad. I often feel like I don't belong in modern society, like I was meant to be someone, or somewhere, else. I love how he found a place to call home, a place where he could be himself, even when the world seems to want you to be someone else. My one dislike, that while there was only one swear word mentioned, there were quite a few cases where the word God was used to swear. I appreciate that as a children's book, they didn't use the regular words, but still disliked God being used this way. Outside of that one thing, I loved it, and highly recommend it!
    more
  • Stephen Connor
    January 1, 1970
    Four children - Fred, Con, Lila and Max - find themselves stranded in the depths of the Amazon after their plane crashes. The first half of the book is all about the dynamic of the group - the leaders, the helpful, the painful, the stubborn - and each character is vividly written. Fred is a doer, a boy who wears his cricket jumper with pride and thinks about what his father what say and do; Con is a complicated girl with multiple layers to her personality. She can appear stubborn, angry and cyni Four children - Fred, Con, Lila and Max - find themselves stranded in the depths of the Amazon after their plane crashes. The first half of the book is all about the dynamic of the group - the leaders, the helpful, the painful, the stubborn - and each character is vividly written. Fred is a doer, a boy who wears his cricket jumper with pride and thinks about what his father what say and do; Con is a complicated girl with multiple layers to her personality. She can appear stubborn, angry and cynical, often all within one sentence, but shows her childish love for life at other points. Lila is the mother figure of the group, not least because she looks after her younger, slightly annoying brother, Max.They survive through a mixture of luck and opportunism - then they stumble across the explorer. What a wonderful character this man is. I picture him acted by Charles Dance, all stiff upper lip and correctness, a sharp tongue allied to a sharper temper, not to mention a wonderful way with words ('I'll cut off your ears and give them to the vulture to wear as a hat' is one of my favourite throwaway lines). He teaches the children more than they ever thought as their adventure unfolds.Simply put, a wonderful story. It's not too much to say you can feel yourself in the jungle with the gang, and the explorer character is just fantastic. Katherine Rundell is such a fine writer that it brings both admiration and envy.Have I mentioned the explorer is brilliant?
    more
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    A small plane crashes in Amazon leaving four children to fend for themselves in one of the most dangerous places on earth. Fred, Constantine, Lila and her younger brother Max must find a way to not only survive, but also find their way back to civilization in an unforgiving landscape. By chance they discover a map that leads them to the site of an ancient civilization inhabited by a mysterious explorer. The details in this book make the setting real, sweeping readers into the lush yet deadly lan A small plane crashes in Amazon leaving four children to fend for themselves in one of the most dangerous places on earth. Fred, Constantine, Lila and her younger brother Max must find a way to not only survive, but also find their way back to civilization in an unforgiving landscape. By chance they discover a map that leads them to the site of an ancient civilization inhabited by a mysterious explorer. The details in this book make the setting real, sweeping readers into the lush yet deadly landscape. The pace of the story is engrossing, but characterization is never sacrificed. Nothing in the story felt false or rushed as is often the case with middle grade adventure stories. Rundell is unparalleled when it comes to capturing the complex thoughts and emotions of children. She has the ability to create the most interesting characters I have come across in children's books in recent years. They make observations and pose questions that stick with readers long after the book is finished.This book will appeal to young readers who enjoy adventure stories, but it will be equally suitable for anyone "just looking for a good book". This includes adults.
    more
  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    Four children are stranded from a plane crash in the Amazon rainforest. They have only their own wits to depend on for survival. With very real danger all around them, they need to steer clear of the dangerous wildlife, find fresh water and gather enough food for survival. Should they stay put and hope for rescue or try to find their own way to the next village? When they stumble upon the improbable, all four children must make a decision that could effect their chances of ever getting help to e Four children are stranded from a plane crash in the Amazon rainforest. They have only their own wits to depend on for survival. With very real danger all around them, they need to steer clear of the dangerous wildlife, find fresh water and gather enough food for survival. Should they stay put and hope for rescue or try to find their own way to the next village? When they stumble upon the improbable, all four children must make a decision that could effect their chances of ever getting help to escape the jungle.While this story did start slowly for me, the adventurous aspects did eventually take over and I did want to see it to its conclusion. Wildlife and animal lovers will enjoy the vast variety employed in this novel and the concern expressed to preserve ancient artifacts definitely comes to light.Thank you to Net Galley for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review.
    more
Write a review