In today’s two-part Collider Kids Exclusive, we’re thrilled to bring you an early look at The Falcon’s Feather, the second book in National Geographic’s Explorer Academy series. Written by Trudi Trueit, the seven-book middle-grade fiction series is inspired by the real-life science, exploration, and mission of National Geographic. The series, which kicked off with The Nebula Secret, is the first major foray into fiction for National Geographic Kids, and we couldn’t be more excited to check it out.
The series follows 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he leaves his home in Hawaii behind in order to attend the prestigious Explorer Academy, where he and 23 other students from around the globe will train to become the next generation of great explorers. In the midst of code-breaking and cool classes, new friends and amazing augmented-reality expeditions, Cruz discovers a mysterious past that could jeopardize his future. Now, in the exciting follow-up story, The Falcon’s Feather, Cruz, Sailor, and Emmett, along with their new ally Bryndis, embark on their first globe-trotting mission aboard the ship Orion, setting sail for Iceland and Norway.
Below, you’ll find the impressive and eye-catching artwork of illustrators Scott Plumbe, who did all the interior art, and Antonio Javier Caparo, who produced the cover art. We’ve included just a small sample of sketches and final images for you to check out below, but more than 65 can be found in The Falcon’s Feather alone! These illustrations feature a map of the Orion Ship, Cruz’s epic encounter with a black whale, Hubbard (the featured West Highland white terrier), and more.
But wait, that’s not all! Keep an eye out, because we’ll also be sharing an exclusive interview with the vice president of visual identity at National Geographic Kids and head of design for the seven-book Explorer Academy series, Eva Absher-Schantz. We’ll also be giving five lucky readers the chance to win a copy of Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret and Explorer Academy: The Falcon’s Feather! The new book will be available for purchase on March 19th for $16.99, and it’s currently available for pre-order here.
And before we get to the interview, take a look at the newly released book trailer below:
The Falcon’s Feather, the second book in the thrilling new Explorer Academy series, ups the stakes for 12-year-old Cruz Coronado and friends, who are training to become the next generation of great explorers. The team gets to experience amazing expeditions and cool technology while aboard their classroom at sea, but for Cruz, danger lurks around every corner as Nebula continues to track his every move.
Check out our exclusive reveal of the book’s sketches and illustrations below!