Oh those books that leave you with cliffhangers! Oh those books that have adventure that just doesn't stop. Oh those books that are a series that are so fun you can't wait for the next one!
The Explorers: The Reckless Rescue
by Adrienne Kress
published by Delacorte Press
Reader! Your attention is greatly needed. We have left things unresolved! What began as your average story of a boy stumbling upon a pig in a teeny hat and a secret international explorers society has turned into an adventure of epic proportions.
* The bad news: The boy (Sebastian) has been kidnapped by a trio of troublesome thugs.
* The good news: His new friend Evie has promised to rescue him!
* The bad news: Sebastian has been taken halfway around the world.
* The good news: Evie has famous explorer and former Filipendulous Five member Catherine Lind at her side!
* The bad news: There's still the whole matter of Evie's grandfather (and the leader of the Filipendulous Five) somewhere out there in grave danger.
* The good news: Pursuing Sebastian will lead Evie and Catherine to another member of the Filipendulous Five, who might be able to help!
This missive is a call to action and an invitation to join in mystery, bravery, and danger. There will be new people to meet, new places to see, and some dancing along the way. And one amazingly reckless rescue.
What I loved about the first book in the series, The Door in the Alley, was how fun it was. There was a mystery to solve, lots of action and a cliffhanger. So many parts to books that kids enjoy. Plus the pig with a bowler hat was too cute. This book starts right where the first one left off. Well, except for that first chapter that fills us in about a character we're about to meet in the book. But then it goes right where the book left off. And then readers should hold on to their hats because it's off you go! Sebastian is headed in one way and Evie in another. Evie's story follows more of the storyline the first book did, but Sebastian's headed in a whole different direction which made it so fun to read. Sebastian has found himself as part of a K-pop group, which is a music genre originating in South Korea. Kids will love reading his adventures as part of this group because it's going to remind them of some of their favorite boy bands. It was a fun diversion and I'm glad Kress included it in the book!
Although some of our questions from book 1 get answered in this book, Kress has made sure that readers will come back for book 3 because some things we still need to know and we leave this book with new questions.
I enjoyed how each chapter went back and forth between what was happening with Sebastian and what was happening with Evie. Although it did keep me reading past bedtime because you couldn't do "just one more chapter".... you would have to read through two chapters to get your answer and then inevitably you'd want to keep going anyway!
I always enjoy when a story has chapter titles because it helps me think more about how it's going to fit into the chapter. Kress gives us such fun ones to ponder about, like "In which Sebastian has a pair of intense conversations" or "In which there are some concerns". Or there are some that crack you up because they state the obvious or they seem to be talking to the reader "In which we...Seriously? Another chase sequence??"
And if you remember the first book, we had footnotes. I'm happy to report they are back in book two. Again, these break the fourth wall and bring commentary between the author and the reader.
If you have readers that have enjoyed Gordon Korman's Masterminds series or Kate Messner's Silver Jaguar Society series, make sure they know about The Explorers. It's not to be missed!