Author(s): Katherine Rundell
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 ...
When four children survive a plane crash over the Amazon jungle, they have to put aside their differences and band together to find shelter and food. There is Fred, who dreams of being an explorer one day, Brazilians Lila and her little brother Max, 5, and the moody Constantia, an orphan who only answers to Con. After Fred finds a map, they build a makeshift raft and set off down the river looking for help - and stumble into the camp of a mysterious hermit.
Rundell, who wrote the wonderful Rooftoppers, set in Paris, vividly describes the beauty and danger of the Amazon in this exciting adventure story about friendship, survival and the importance of conservation. Her characters are beautifully drawn and each has hidden talents that come to the fore as they learn survival skills. Set around the 1930s, there are elements of Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, Eva Ibbotson's Journey to the River Sea, and Willard Price's adventure stories in this gorgeous modern classic for age 9 plus.
Winner of the Children's Book Prize
Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2017
Winner of the London Book Fair Children's Travel Book of the Year
Longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal
'I loved The Explorer' Jacqueline Wilson
'Rundell is now unarguably in the FIRST RANK' Philip Pullm