Publication Date: January 19, 2021
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Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7
Catalog Copy: A major discovery forces the Explorer Academy into the limelight in The Star Dunes, but Cruz has much more on his mind than 15 minutes of fame. A new face on board the ship causes Cruz's worlds to collide, just as a close call tears them apart. En route to Africa, Team Cousteau is now down a major player, and Cruz can't help but be preoccupied by the hole in his life. The discovery of his mom's next clue leads him to the most exotic location yet—a vast desert—with no other information to lead the way, while an unlikely ally helps Cruz pursue another piece of the puzzle. Just as things seem like they might turn out all right, Dr. Fanchon Quills has a technological breakthrough which gives Cruz a glimpse into the past and reveals more about his future than he may want to know.
Author Bio: TRUDI TRUEIT has written more than 100 books for young readers, both fiction and nonfiction. Her love of writing began in fourth grade, when she wrote, directed, and starred in her first play. She went on to be a TV news reporter and weather forecaster, but she knew her calling was in writing. Trueit is a gifted storyteller for middle-grade audiences, and her fiction novels include The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular, and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Her expertise in kids nonfiction encompasses books on history, weather, wildlife, and Earth science. She is the author of all the narratives for the Explorer Academy series, beginning with Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret. Trueit was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and lives in Everett, Washington.
Illustrator Bio: SCOTT PLUMBE is an award-winning illustrator, designer, and fine artist, whose work appears in books and magazines, games, interpretive centers, private collections, and more. His illustrations have been featured in magazines such as Communication Arts (US), Applied Arts (CA), Creative Review (UK), and 3x3 (US).
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Key Selling Points
Cruz, Sailor, Emmett, and the gang are on their way to Africa when Nebula misses their intended target and someone close to Cruz ends up on the brink of death. Secrets creep out from the shadows and leave Cruz with more questions than answers in this fourth title in the hit series.
NOW IN PAPERBACK
FOURTH MAJOR FICTION TITLE for kids from National Geographic's new Under the Stars imprint combines the lore, adventure, and rich history of the National Geographic Society with the latest science and expeditions from the field.
AWESOME REVIEWS FROM KIDS confirm that enthusiasm for this series is through the roof!
FACT-BASED FICTION that's action-packed and appeals to brand loyalists and middle graders as well as parents and educators.
STRONG STORYTELLING by an experienced author offers a great narrative with educational content.
SMART CONTENT excites kids around STEM subjects.
REAL SCIENCE/REAL EXPLORERS: Incorporates cutting-edge research by real National Geographic explorers.
DIVERSITY: Features a diverse, multicultural cast of characters and locations around the globe.
ROBUST EXTRAS: "Truth Behind the Fiction" section in the back links the story to the real world to encourage further study.
FULL-COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS from renowned graphic artist Scott Plumbe will enchant readers.
SECRET CODES AND CIPHERS are hidden throughout the book for an interactive experience.
CROSS-MEDIA PROMOTION: Ongoing promotion for the series in Nat Geo Kids magazine and on the website.
ONGOING SERIES MARKETING CAMPAIGN to include publicity, events, and advertising.
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