June 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

NatGeo Starts Children’s Fiction Imprint

National Geographic and nonfiction go hand-in-hand. Science, animals, history–if kids want answers, NatGeo has the facts.  Now, it will have the fiction, too.

National Geographic Kids Books is launching a new imprint called Under the Stars, which will “create fictional stories based on the research and adventures of National Geographic’s leading scientists, photographers and journalists. It will launch with the September release of the first novel in a seven-book series, Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit. Explorer Academy is a middle grade title, and the imprint will focus primarily on that age group.

Here is the full press release from National Geographic:

A longtime leader in the children’s nonfiction world, National Geographic Kids Books will bring the same caliber of engaging, educational storytelling to the fiction world starting this fall, publishing under a new imprint called Under the Stars. Under the Stars will create fictional stories based on the research and adventures of National Geographic’s leading scientists, photographers and journalists. Publishing one fictional book series per year, the imprint will focus on one or more core National Geographic subjects, including geography, history, space, STEM, exploration and world cultures.

Under the Stars is already off to a buzzworthy start with its first title, “Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret.” Part of a seven-book series, “Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret” by Trudi Trueit (on sale Sept. 4, 2018; ISBN: 978-1-4263-3159-6; ages 8-12; $16.99) is filled with real-world science, code-breaking and a gripping narrative that follows 12-year-old Cruz, along with a diverse group of his fellow students, as he plunges into a world of critical missions while also having to turn in his homework on time.

The story has received advance praise from LeVar Burton (“Reading Rainbow,” “LeVar Burton Reads”), author T.A. Barron (the Merlin Saga) and director, producer and screenwriter J.J. Abrams (“Star Wars VII” and “IX,” “Star Trek,” “Alias,” “Lost,” etc.), among others. To date, “Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret” is slated to publish simultaneously in nine languages, with other translated editions to be added regularly. Beyond publishing, the series will serve as National Geographic’s first global franchise to include consumer products, family entertainment centers, family travel and education.

“We’ve spent the last few years developing riveting fictional stories like ‘Explorer Academy’ for this new imprint,” said Erica Green, National Geographic Kids Books editorial director. “We hope the characters in these books will offer inspiration, by helping kids and adults alike ultimately want to explore and protect our planet. Each book published through Under the Stars will be steeped in fact and real-world investigation and will showcase characters and illuminate situations that embody our remarkably talented explorers and how they interact with the world.”

Like the Explorer Academy series, all other Under the Stars books will be primarily aimed at the middle grade (kids ages 8-12), with an emphasis on self-expression and an overarching message of the power of curiosity. Each book will work as a stand-alone publication, but will also be part of a transmedia experience, conceived and produced such that the characters and narrative arcs work on various platforms from print, to digital, to screens of all sizes.

“We hope to use these books to continue to carry forth our founders’ commitment to quality, innovative storytelling and bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration,” said Jennifer Emmett, senior vice president of content for National Geographic Kids.

To get early access to the first chapter and learn more about Explorer Academy, visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorer-academy/.

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