Synopsis (from Bloomsbury Website):
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 …
Why I can’t wait to read The Explorer – [nb. I have The Explorer on Netgalley. This is NOT a review. This is my regular exposition of upcoming books.]
- It builds on a tradition. From Moby Dick to Walkabout, from Lord of the Flies to Kensuke’s Kingdom, British writers seem to get castaway narratives spot on. Perhaps it is in the water which surrounds our small island? Building on a tradition must be daunting, but I have read enough of Rundell’s work to believe she will add to the cannon.
- Katherine Rundell is gaining accolades. Rightfully so – like Lauren Wolk, she has found the perfect balance between ‘literary’ and ‘readable’ (inverted commas, as regular readers know, indicate I am resorting to quick terms. I acknowledge this. In depth discussion is for another article.) I notice she is included in the Aarhus 39 Middle Grade anthology. More about this over the coming month – basically, some of the greatest new voices in children’s fiction from across Europe were invited to contribute to one of two anthologies. Rundell was one of the British writers who took part.
- The plane on the jacket reminds me of the early era of aviation. I can find nothing to confirm the book is set in the early 1900s, although Katherine Rundell has set fiction in this era before. I love that era of ‘real’ exploration, of great female aviators like Amelia Earhart. Like many people, I don’t know HUGE amounts of history, but my imagination has been captured by fiction and film and song. (And Lego. Any 90s Kids remember Lego Explorers? More recently, there was Pharaoh’s Quest. Epic stuff.)