The Explorer (Paperback)
  • The Explorer (Paperback)

The Explorer (Paperback)

(author), (illustrator)
Paperback 416 Pages
Published: 02/01/2018
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

The Costa Children’s Book of the Year 2017. A wild adventure, The Explorer nods to storytelling’s golden age but remains alive and fresh with characters that leap from the page. An instant classic.

Winner of the 2017 Costa Book Awards Children's Award

Longlisted for The CILIP Carnegie Medal 2018

Like a man-made magic wish the airplane began to rise.

The boy sitting in the cockpit gripped his seat and held his breath as the plane roared and climbed into the arms of the sky.

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...

Katherine Rundell spent her childhood in Africa and parts of Europe before settling in the UK. She is the author of Rooftoppers, a story of one girl’s adventures across the rooftops of Paris, which won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408882191
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 370 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


A wildly exciting adventure … One of our most talented writers for children - Observer, Children’s Book of the Week

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

Rundell is an astonishing young talent and her books combine old-fashioned, edge-of-your-seat adventure with richly imagined characters... Read everything she writes - Daily Mail

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“An exciting Amazon adventure with piranha, caimans and sloths in which "children find they are "braver than they think"”

The Explorer

Rundell writes that she

“wanted to write a book in which the children discover that they are braver than they think… and about children discovering that the world is more beautiful and complicated... More

Hardback edition
6 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 133
Holly at Exeter Roman Gate

“A breathtaking survival adventure - reminds us all to keep exploring”

I had seen a lot of press for this title and was fairly interested in it. When Bloomsbury sent me a review copy I was keen to start it.

What I thought was already going to be a good read, completely took my breath... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 124

“It's okay”


It's okay. Nicely written and the illustrations are lovely, but I just wasn't all that into it. Got about 40 pages in and just ran out of steam.

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 103

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