The Explorer by Katherine Rundell is about four children who are on their way back to England from Manaus in Brazil when the small plane they’re on crashes in the Amazon Jungle and the pilot dies upon landing. For days they survive alone, until one of them finds a map that leads them to a ruined city, and to a secret. Along the way, they meet The Explorer, a man with no name and a mysterious past. There is lots of detail in the book, and the sounds and sights of the jungle, like the animals and birds, are really vividly described. It’s a really exciting adventure book, and I think it’s written really well. I liked most of the characters, though the youngest, Max, became a little annoying! Perhaps he was meant to be. The main focus of the story is friendship and survival. It also explores other themes like bravery, trust, and man’s relationship with nature. Some younger readers might find parts of this book a little scary, but I would recommend it to both boys and girls aged 9 or older who like adventure.
Sarah F, age 10, Vancouver, Canada