Friday, December 3, 2021

Off on Another Explorer Academy Adventure!


Explorer Academy: The Dragon's Blood (Book 6) 
by Trudi Trueit 
216 pages; ages 8-12
‎National Geographic Children’s Books, 2021

Cruz joins his best friends in another race-around-the-globe adventure in search of the next clue to his mom’s secret formula. This time we begin our adventures in a steamy rainforest in Borneo. Cruz Coronado and his friends are gathering information as part of a Bioblitz. They’re taking photos of animal and plant life they find, seeking the rarely seen. They find an orchid mantis that perfectly mimics the flower it’s named for, and pitcher plants that digest leaves instead of insects. 
Di Pavel Kirillov/Wikimedia commons

After they’ve had an opportunity to sharpen their observation skills, the students are sent into the Tasmanian wilderness on their real mission: searching for an animal thought to be extinct for the past hundred years. They deploy cool technology, such as the SHOT Bots (Soft Heliomorphic Observational Traveling Robots). The robots are designed to resemble stinging nettles so that the local wildlife won’t nibble on them.

But the creature they are searching for is so rare that the students wonder if they will ever see it. The book raises good questions, such as how do we protect species with small wild populations? It also highlights the importance of preserving biodiversity.

Of course, as the expedition unfolds, Cruz is drawn into searching for the missing pieces of his mother’s code. Clues point to the Terra Cotta army, an army of clay soldiers that were buried more than 2,000 years ago where the ancient capital of Xianyang once stood. Could the missing puzzle piece be there? 

Meanwhile, it becomes clear that someone in the Academy is a spy. But who? and what does it have to do with emo-glasses and weaponized goo? 

Like the other books in the series, the back matter explains the truth behind the fiction. You’ll meet an ocean explorer, an explorer who uses camera traps to document wildlife in a rainforest, and more who are involved in preserving the diversity of plant and animal life on our planet. 

You can check out reviews of previous books in the series here, here, here, and here . Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.


  1. You've been so good about keeping up with this series. Sometimes it's hard to review book six, but you did a great job. Thanks for doing this.

  2. Sounds like a great series. It must be good if you've stuck with it. So interesting about the Terra Cotta army. When I took my daughter to China for a heritage visit, we went to the museum where they were being displayed.

  3. I've enjoyed this series (some stories more than others) The Dragon's Blood is on my review pile and your thoughts have me looking forward to returning to more adventures at the Academy. Thanks for sharing your review on MMGM.

  4. This sounds like such a fascinating read—I haven't had the chance to read any of the books in the series, but the combination of the ongoing code, the action at the Academy, and the info on biodiversity and endangered species sounds like it makes for a great read! Thanks so much for the great review, Sue!

  5. I haven't read any of these books, but it sounds like they carry important messages for young readers. A little science, a little mystery, a little adventure, and more. How can you go wrong? Thanks for the review.

  6. I have not read this series, but this book does catch my attention. Love the science, mystery and a great adventure! I have a grandson that is 7 1/2 and just not ready for books like this one -- but am going to book mark so I can check them out for him in coming years.