The Secret Explorers and the Missing Scientist

DK. (Secret Explorers: Bk. 7). Jul. 2021. 128p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780744033366; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781465499899.
Gr 2-4–The Secret Explorers are back in a new action-packed adventure, heading up to the Arctic to rescue a missing scientist and save a trapped research ship. After Kiki, the group’s Engineer Explorer and Connor, the Marine Explorer, jump into Beagle, their go-kart/transporter, they arrive in the Arctic. Trusty Beagle morphs into a snowmobile, so when the kids notice a huge ship stuck in the ice, he whisks them over to help. On board, they find out that the ship is in danger of sinking and that the scientist who went for help hasn’t returned. Kiki and Connor know their mission! Beagle whirls them across the icy tundra in search of the scientist, but instead of finding her, they find some menacing looking footprints in the snow. Quickly discovering that they belong to a polar bear, Kiki and Connor realize that danger is about to get lot more real, and it’s time to call the Secret Explorers for help. Thanks to some awesome science and great teammates, Kiki and Connor locate the scientist. But the polar bear is on their tail and the ship is running out of time. How can the Secret Explorers save the day when there is still so much to learn? Packed with almost as much STEM as action, this title keeps readers turning pages. Scientific concepts, like snowmobile engineering and polar bear biology, are illustrated through the easy-to-understand narrative, making science fun and memorable. The prose, pacing, and characterization are spot-on for readers moving on from books like the “Magic Treehouse” series. Racial diversity and gender equality take this book from fantastic to exceptional—a back cover illustration of the crew shows children of various skin tones. Kiki has dark brown hair and skin, while Connor has lighter brown hair and skin. Includes Mission Notes, a quiz, and a glossary.
VERDICT Readers won’t be able to put this Arctic adventure down; a must-buy for public and school libraries.

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