The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Explorer Academy:The Nebula Secret Review by Kim Rodriguez

Trudi Trueit
National Geographic Partners, LLC
1145 17th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C.20036

My children have loved National Geographic Magazine for many years and were anticipating the new book Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret after seeing an ad about it recently.They were super excited to be able to get a copy of their very own and could not wait to read it.

Also included with the novel was a link to an Educators’ Guide.Included in the guide is questions about facts, questions to lead discussion and activities to use with a class.It also has a 5th grade common core state standards key.We used the book as a fun reader, so we did not go through the questions or activities.However, if I were to use this as part of our school curriculum, it would easily fit into both science and writing.The activities are great, and we may use them later in the year.

The book is about a 12-year-old boy, Cruz, and his new friends in his new school.Along with adjusting to the unfamiliar environment and difficult classes, he is surprised to find someone is trying to kill him.He has been betrayed by friends and adults, whom he trusted and soon discovers a secret about his mom, which may or may not, have led to her death.

The story is extremely exciting and adventurous.It easily captivated my children and they quickly ran through the book in just a few days.They loved reading The Truth Behind the Fiction section at the end of the novel.Seeing through pictures the real-life jobs and technology that led to many ideas in the novel inspired them.Seeing how science and technology not only lends to our real world, but to our fictional one, as well, intrigued them.

Overall, the children really enjoyed the novel.They would recommend it for children eight and up.For older or advanced readers, it is an easy but enjoyable read.

- Product review by Kim Rodriguez, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2019