From his seat in the tiny aeroplane, Fred watches as the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass by below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of making history and of reading his name amongst the lists of great discoveries. If only he could land and look about him.
As the plane crashes into the canopy, Fred is suddenly left without a choice. He and the 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 impossibly small.
Except, it seems, someone has been there before them …
About the Author
Katherine Rundell spent her childhood in Africa and Europe. After completing a degree in English and a doctorate on John Donne, she is now a full-time writer and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where she studies Renaissance literature and climbs old buildings at night. Katherine has won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award and has been shortlisted for many others. In 2017 she was selected as one of Hay Festival's Hay30 influential young thinkers to watch.
Readers are plunged, quite literally into a wildly exciting adventure ... Rundell's rich, descriptive prose will transport her young readers to a mesmerising world where they can swim with river dolphins, eat a tarantula and discover a ruined city ... One of our most talented writers for children * Observer, Children's Book of the Week *
The telling feels fresh though it belongs to a classic tradition of adventure stories - and is an honourable successor to Eva Ibbotson's great novel Journey to the River Sea. The tone is humorous and wise, the characterisation observant and true, and the story suspenseful ... Reading this delicious book is like eating electricity * Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Year *
Cracking ... A kind of cross between Indiana Jones and the film Up ... One of the most captivating books of the year * Spectator *
Katherine Rundell just gets better and better. I loved The Explorer. On one level it's a very exciting adventure story of four children fighting for survival in the Amazon - but it's also saying profound things about human nature and love and loss * Jacqueline Wilson *
There's a gritty solidity to the horrors and the beauties, and a completely convincing depth to the characters, all of whom I loved. Katherine Rundell is now unarguably in the FIRST RANK * Philip Pullman *
An adventure story to die for ... Rundell is a class act - her beautiful descriptions of the rainforest could turn the head of a Mayan statue. And scrap bedtime: her need-to-know next chapters just won't wait till the sun's up. What a discovery * The Times *
As extravagantly beautiful as the rainforest it so lovingly describes, I cannot imagine the child who wouldn't be delighted by it * Independent *
Plunge into the green wilds of Katherine Rundell's marvellous new novel ... Hannah Horn's delicate line drawings, encroach, vine-like, on Rundell's dangerous, intoxicating pages in this love song to the natural world. It is essential reading for lovers of Eva Ibbotson * Guardian *
`For sheer adventure, The Explorer is hard to trump * Daily Telegraph *
Rundell conjures up a world of natural beauty - pre-internet - where survival depends on cooperation. Her vivid locations are almost characters in themselves ... Terrific * Daily Mail *