The Explorer

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out of 5



Who Wrote It?

Born in Kent, Katherine spent time in Zimbabwe, where her father was a diplomat. She later moved to Brussels, then London. She studied at Oxford and developed an interest in roof-top climbing. Her first book, The Girl Savage, was published in 2011 and had influences from Zimbabwe in it. Her second novel, Rooftoppers, won the Waterstones children’s book prize in 2014 and also the Blue Peter award. The Explorer is her fourth novel. It is based in the Amazon Jungle where Katherine fell in love with the beauty of the place. She wanted children to realise that they can be explorers anywhere by paying attention to their world. She explains that the book can be summed up by one line spoken at the end of the novel “You are right to be afraid, be brave anyway”.

What's It About?

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.

Fact File

Katherine claims to start every day with a cartwheel as “Reading is almost exactly the same as cartwheeling; it turns the world upside down and leaves you breathless”.

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.

Follow Katherine on Twitter: @kdbrundell

Your Reviews

Johnny from Westgate Primary:

This is an amazing novel with captivating illustrations, strong-minded characters and a story line that really hits home.

When their aeroplane crashes in the middle of the Amazon jungle, Fred, Lila, Con and Max are forced to band together in the fight to survive. As the group head out on their journey to Manaus and civilisation, they realise something - someone has walked this path before. Can they find this strange explorer in whose footsteps they are following? Will they ever get home?

Read on to find out...

Johnny gave The Explorer 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll.

Lucy from Westgate Primary School:

This was an outstanding novel with great vocabulary and writing skills and some beautiful illustrations. This was a book that showed true friendship and team work. It also displays a lot of anger and annoyance of when not using team work and communication skills.It is about 4 total strangers who unfortunately crashed in an airplane, and ended up being the best of friends anyone could ever be, and like they were family. It was truly touching, and I couldn't bear to put the book down.

I would give this a big,fat 5 out of 5 , and would highly recommend it to kids who like to read adventure stories or books about friendship.

Lucy gave The Explorer 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Boy with One Name by J R Wallis.

Farhanah from Oakwood Primary Academy:

I really enjoyed the book . I found it easy to read. My favourite character must be the explorer because of the way he acts and what he does. I would definitely recommend this book.

Farhanah gave The Explorer 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis.