The Explorer

The Explorer

By Katherine Rundell

In a small plane, four children travel over the Amazon jungle.  Each has a good reason to be on an excursion without their parents and will meet their adults at their destination.  But when the pilot has what appears to be a heart attack, Fred, Con, Lila and her little brother Max find themselves alone in the jungle with the wreckage of a plane.

The four city children are out of their element.  Fred and Con, in fact, come from “proper” British backgrounds and have never been allowed to explore.  Both have always behaved “sensibly”.

But Fred adores explorers and has read many books about them.  His book knowledge allows him to figure out how to survive in the jungle.  Lila, too, has some survival skills.  The children manage to build a shelter and a fire.  Food is scarce, but Lila’s knowledge of animals and the natural world helps keep them safe.

Then they find a map.  “X” marks the spot and the four survivors decide to follow the map to its conclusion.  What they don’t expect is to find “the explorer” at the other end.

In an ancient and forgotten city in the middle of the Amazon jungle, the children meet the explorer.  He wears furs, eats practically anything and knows his way around.  He is also arrogant with no desire to have children or anyone else around.  But when one of them becomes ill, only he can help the children find their way back home.

The Explorer is, first and foremost, and adventure story.  But it will also make you believe that anything is possible and that you are much more capable than you think.

Highly recommended!