Book review: The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

A review by Samuel from Winchester Discovery Centre

Jun 3 2020

Book cover of The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
You should always dress as if you might be going to the jungle. You never know when you might meet an adventure.

Not all of us can be out enjoying nature at the moment, but Katherine Rundell has the perfect tonic for anyone stuck indoors who’s itching for some adventure. So, dust off your compasses, gather your budding explorers and prepare for a life-changing trip through the Amazon rainforest with Fred, Lila, Con, and Max who’ve crash-landed and are searching for a way home.

Along the way they’ll encounter hungry caimans, feast on roasted tarantula, and traverse treacherous rivers, valleys and clifftops. But what are those mysterious objects they keep finding? Could someone have been there before them? And exactly where does that X on their map lead?

Rundell has created an utterly captivating and colourful adventure, steeped in realism, charm and wit that leaves the reader entirely immersed in its exotic surroundings. You’ll learn lots of survival skills and encounter all manner of wildlife, scary and cute, but perhaps most importantly Rundell’s striking message about adventure itself. Her story reinforces the value of protecting nature, how we’re always stronger than we think, and shows us how the bond between unlikely friends can be made unbreakable by pulling together in difficult times; a message we all need right now.

Finally, it’s important to remember that we don’t always have to be lost in the jungle to be an explorer (we’re all explorers of life) but Rundell manages to make us feel like true adventurers from page one. Her words made the overgrown lawn and dandelions of my garden feel like a lush wilderness.

Age recommendation

9 to 11 years

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