Friday, June 28, 2019

Explorer Academy ~ The Falcon's Feather

Explorer Academy: The Falcon’s Feather
By Trudi Trueit
208 Pages; ages 8-12
Under the Stars (National Geographic imprint), 2019

This is the much anticipated (well, at least on my part) next installment of the Explorer Academy adventures. We met Cruz Coronado and his friends last December. Now they’ve set sail aboard the Explorer Academy ship Orion to continue their studies at sea.

Cruz, born and raised in Hawaii, is used to spending time on the water. His shipmates … not so much. And, as a way of welcoming Cruz aboard the ship, his Aunt Marisol has left him a postcard bearing a coded message.

The Orion is bound for the shores of Iceland and Norway, where the students will continue their studies. Meanwhile, Cruz is on a personal mission to find clues his mom left behind – clues that will help him uncover a secret that could lead to cures for hundreds of diseases. And Nebula Pharmaceuticals will do whatever it takes to keep that secret buried. Fortunately, Cruz’s friends know about his mission and will stick by his side.

As we sail with the young explorers, we learn some sailor speak: port, starboard, bow, stern, aft, fore. And we learn that this is no ordinary research vessel; it is fitted with hydroponic gardens and a mini-sub named Ridley, after the endangered turtle. There are maps – so we can follow the vessel from Chesapeake Bay to Reykjavik, Iceland via Bay of Fundy and the Norwegian coast – and codes to crack. Plus adventures galore, including getting trapped in an ice cave.

Once again people Cruz trusts turn out to be working with the evil Nebula company, and we end with a problem that will lead us to the next adventure (titled The Double Helix).

Like the first book, this one has an awesome section of back matter that explains the truth behind the fiction. You’ll learn about submersibles, speaking whale, glaciers, bioluminescence, and more.

What’s really cool? There is an activity book for kids who want to be more involved in the Explorer Academy. It begins with a letter welcoming the reader to the Academy and is broken into six missions that require you to use your best code-breaking skills. Combined with Explorer Academy adventures, it makes for a perfect summer of …. adventuring!

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading.
Review copies provided by the publisher.


  1. I've enjoyed both books in the series. Getting the kids out in the world exploring made this one memorable. Thanks for spreading the word.

  2. Between studies at sea, code-breaking, and an unfortunately realistic pharmaceutical company, this series certainly sounds intriguing! Thanks so much for the review!

  3. I must add these two books to my list. They sound like two very compelling adventures for the explorers at heart.

  4. I have enjoyed so many National Geographic books in the past 18 months. Thanks for sharing these two titles with us for MMGM.

  5. I have been hearing a lot about this new Explorer Academy book. I didn't know about the companion book. Thanks for the info.