The Nebula Secret
The Nebula Secret

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Series: Explorer Academy Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Twelve-year-old Cruz Coronado leaves his home in Hawaii to study and travel with other young people invited to attend the elite Explorer Academy in Washington, D.C.
Catalog Number: #167700
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 207 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-426-33159-2 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2290-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-426-33159-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2290-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017050032
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
Following his deceased scientist mother's legacy, Cruz Coronado has been selected to attend the Explorer Academy, a school that prepares a diverse group of the brightest young budding scientists "To discover. To innovate. To protect." Prior to his departure for the academy, while taking one last surf at his favorite Kauai beach, someone tries to pull him under and then mysteriously disappears. His new roommate also notices that a strange man is following Cruz. Strange occurrences arise, the most dangerous when the students are almost killed during a training simulation. Cruz's pursuer eventually reveals himself, warning him that members of the nefarious Nebula are out to get him due to a secret project his mother had been working on. A cryptic message she left behind may provide a clue to her death—and may save his life. In the meantime, Cruz and his fellow academy recruits learn to navigate secret holographic technology called the CAVE, which prepares them for the terrain they will explore in the real world. This series opener from a new imprint of National Geographic is a fully packed high-tech adventure that offers both cool, educational facts about the planet and a diverse cast of fun characters (Cruz is Mexican-American). The plot, with preteens in a life-threatening mystery, is not new. The package is glitzy enough, with full-color illustrations throughout, that action-craving readers may not mind. "The Truth Behind the Fiction" concluding backmatter grounds the adventure.Comfortable formula fiction with a scientific twist. (Science fiction. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
After 12-year-old Cruz Coronado is invited to attend the prestigious Explorer Academy in Washington, D.C., he leaves his Hawaii home to join fellow students from around the world who are training to become the next generation of conservationists, scientists, explorers, and more. It appears that someone is determined to obstruct Cruz-s efforts, however (he is grabbed by a diver while surfing, then followed in an airport), and he soon suspects that the sabotage may be tied to his mother-s mysterious death, years earlier. Cruz must discover the truth behind these events before his time at the Academy is cut short. While the story line by Trueit (The Sister Solution) focuses on the mystery, the book-s real strength rests in its adventure, as its heroes, including Cruz-s new friends, Emmett Lu and Sailor York, tackle puzzles and simulated missions as part of the educational process. Maps, letters, and puzzles bring the exploration to life, and back matter explores the -Truth behind the Fiction,- such as notable real-life National Geographic explorers and relevant science. This exciting series opener introduces young readers to the joys of science and nature. Ages 8-12. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 46 This new National Geographic series introduces 12-year-old Cruz, who lives in Hawaii with his dad and has been accepted into the elite Explorer Academy in Washington, DC. It's where his mother, a scientist, was killed in a lab accident, and his aunt, an anthropologist, is still a teacher. He and his classmates are set to embark on an expedition aboard the ship Polaris , but only after training at this high-tech Hogwarts-like academy using things like Augmented Reality Challenges and mind-control cameras. In addition to the pressure of academics, Cruz has acquired a mysterious stalker in cowboy boots and learned that his mother's death may not have been an accident after all. When he is falsely accused of cheating and immediately expelled, he must rely on family and friends to clear his name and track down his mother's hidden journal. An afterword explains "The Truth Behind the Story" and directs readers to the online Explorer Academy. VERDICT Nonstop action and a mix of full-color photographs and drawings throughout make this appealing to aspiring explorers and reluctant readers alike, and the cliffhanger ending ensures they'll be coming back for more. Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Brighton District Library, Brighton, MI
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Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (9/1/18)
Word Count: 53,334
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 199154 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 660L
Guided Reading Level: X

Adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers.

Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and augmented reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him, and why?

Readers can get in on the excitement with puzzles and codes embedded throughout.

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