It’s hard to believe the fourth book in this appealing adventure series has hit the shelves. It was less than two years ago when I featured The Nebula Secret, an exciting debut for National Geographic into the world of MG fiction. Next came The Falcon’s Feather followed by The Double Helix.
This description from the publisher should bring you up to date:
Follow 12-year-old Cruz Coronado during his time at the prestigious Explorer Academy, where he and 23 kids from around the globe are training to become the next generation of great explorers. In addition to making new friends and attending cool classes, Cruz must also work to unlock clues to his family’s shadowy past if he is to solve the mystery of his mother’s untimely death. In this exciting follow-up toThe Double Helix, a major discovery catapults Cruz and the Explorer Academy team into the limelight and they head off to Africa. Cruz and his fellow recruits tackle challenging missions to dispense life-saving medications to gorillas, thwart pangolin poachers and capture images of the last known cheetahs in Namibia — all the while discovering that protecting the world’s threatened species is dangerous business! After yet another strike from Nebula, someone close to Cruz ends up on the brink of death, leaving the ship in turmoil and Cruz and his team down a major player. The discovery of his mom’s next clue leads Cruz to a vast desert — and just when he thinks he’s run out of leads for solving the mystery of her tragic disappearance, an unlikely ally helps him pursue another piece of the ongoing puzzle. Can Cruz and his team stay one step ahead of Nebula and find the next piece of the hidden cipher?
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
THE STAR DUNES by Trudi Trueit
1. Colored illustrations appear throughout the book and are nicely spaced with the text. I had to go back and look at them again after finishing the story.
2. The mostly real life science presented on the pages always had me learning something new. It’s a sneaky and effective way to get kids excited about a science career.
3. The puzzles, including the mystery of who the bad explorer might be, is a great exercise for any age brain.
4. The back section is called the Truth Behind the Fiction and is look at five real explorers and the work they do. Great reading.
5. This one like the others ends rather abruptly. Most of the plot points are completed except two crucial ones which will most likely will not be solved until the final book. It serves it’s purpose as I can’t wait to see what unfolds.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR
TRUDI TRUEIT has written more than 100 books for young readers, both fiction and nonfiction. Her love of writing began in fourth grade, when she wrote, directed, and starred in her first play. She went on to be a TV news reporter and weather forecaster, but she knew her calling was in writing. Trueit is a gifted storyteller for middle-grade audiences, and her fiction novels include The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular, and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Her expertise in kids nonfiction encompasses books on history, weather, wildlife, and Earth science. She is the author of all the narratives for the Explorer Academy series, beginning with Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret. Trueit was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and lives in Everett, Washington.
SCOTT PLUMBE is an award-winning illustrator, designer, and fine artist whose work appears in books and magazines, games, interpretive centers, private collections, and more. His illustrations have been featured in magazines such as Communication Arts (US), Applied Arts (CA), Creative Review (UK), and 3×3 (US).
Be sure to check out the ambitious and fun Explorer Academy website.
I received a copy of the book for my honest review. Comments are welcome below.