On an island nation in the Indian Ocean, the explorers venture through a vast underwater world and take part in a friendly robotics competition. But the tides of good fortune change quickly. Suddenly, Team Cousteau jumps into action to rescue a faculty member from the brink of death. Meanwhile, the team follows the Cruz”s mother”s clues to a magnificent tomb and center of spirituality precariously perched on the side of a cliff. There, Cruz is confronted by a familiar foe who”s determined to stop him from completing his most important mission of all: Retrieving the final pieces of his mother”s cipher. In this life-or-death showdown, Cruz witnesses the ultimate sacrifice and uncovers a hidden message that makes him question his own mortality.

Hard to believe this is Book 5 in the Explorer Academy series. It was September of 2018 when I reviewed THE NEBULA SECRET, the initial story. There’s even a Book 6 due out in October of this year.

In THE TIGER’S NEST Cruz continues his studies on board the explorer ship Orion. He’s a likeable MC who is surrounded by a diverse cast of students and faculty, one of which will meet their death. The pace is a bit slower than previous books, but the climatic ending scenes more than make up for it. There’s also a huge reveal in the final chapter that will send the story off in a new direction.

The strength of the series as always is the connection with science and geography. Also at it’s core is an emphasis on environmental themes. The illustrations throughout (some even full page) are stunning and add to the story’s intrigue.

We’re getting closer to the end and it looks like this next book might wrap things up. Until then, my suggestion is to start from the beginning. You’ll appreciate the character interactions more and understand all the plot nuances.


Trudi Trueit imagined a career as a novelist ever since writing her first play in the fourth grade. A former TV news reporter and weather forecaster, Trudi has published more than 100 fiction and nonfiction books for young readers.

Trudi’s middle grade fiction books include the top selling Explorer Academy series for National Geographic (2018to present), as well as My Top Secret Dares & Don’ts, The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular, and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series (Aladdin). Trudi’s numerous nonfiction titles cover such diverse topics as history, weather, wildlife, earth science, writing, education, and health. Recent releases include Detecting Avalanches & Detecting Volcanic Eruptions (FOCUS Readers); Giant Pandas, Grizzly Bears, and Polar Bears from the Wild Bears series (Amicus).

Born and raised in the Seattle area, Trudi has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. She currently lives in Everett, WA with her husband, Bill, a high school teacher. She loves photography, art, and serving the whims of her cats.

Trudi’s Links:




National Geographic:

Simon & Schuster:


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All you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews, or anything middle grade related also count). Email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com
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About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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4 Responses to THE TIGER’S NEST

  1. I still haven’t read this series. Kid explorers aboard an explorer ship involved in intriguing science issues relevant to today! Need to bookmark this series. Environment is so important to young people, so I’m sure it’s a popular series in MG schools. Thanks for sharing!

  2. donnagalanti says:

    You had me at ‘Cousteau’! This sounds like a mysterious and exciting adventure. What a great sounding series! Will definitely check out.

  3. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    Adventures galore would entice most MG readers! I must check.out this series. Thanks a bunch.

  4. I normally love Truett’s work, but didn’t invest in this series. My students have limited patience with anything over five books. She’s a great writer, and I can see why some readers might really like this one!

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