The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton's Lair: The Expeditioners, Book 2
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton's Lair is the sequel to The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon,and continues the adventures of the West kids. Narrator Kit West returns, along with handsome, swashbucking, eco-minded older brother Zander and younger sister M.K., an engineering wizard. Budding cartographer Kit discovers another map left behind by their father, a lost explorer presumed dead, and soon the siblings, their friends, and an enemy or two from the Academy are off on another quest. As preparations for war over Middle Eastern oil ramp up, the Expeditioners discover undersea realms, decipher coded maps, and confront such dangers as pirates, tree-climbing carnivorous eels, and international intrigue while Kit privately struggles with unrequited love. Mild language (occasional "damn" and use of "God" as an expletive) but little else to worry about as author S.S. Taylor and illustrator Katherine Roy deliver lots of excitement as well as food for thought about imperialism, environmental damage, and trying to find the right thing to do in ethically murky situations.
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What's the Story?
As THE EXPEDITIONERS AND THE SECRET OF KING TRITON'S LAIR opens, narrator Kit West, along with older brother Zander and younger sister M.K. are settling into their new lives at the Academy after their adventures in Book 1, when Kit finds another map left behind by their father, who's presumed dead on a recent expedition. Meanwhile, international unrest is building in the Middle East, with oil at the bottom of it all. Strange goings-on, including an apparent attempt on an adult's life, feed paranoia and suspicion, especially against foreign-born students. The West kids, along with friends Sukey, Joyce, and Kemal as well as some enemies, are off on a Caribbean adventure, trying to find -- and explore -- a mysterious spot from which no ship has ever returned.
Is It Any Good?
Kids (and many parents) will find plenty to love as the exciting Expeditioners series continues. Appealing characters! Undersea adventure! Pirates! Exotic creatures! Unimagined perils! Ethical quandaries! Also, unrequited love. Author S.S. Taylor tells a lively, heartfelt tale in the voice of Kit. And Katherine Roy's illustrations capture the characters' personalities and surroundings as they pursue their quest.
With much of the adventure taking place under the sea amid gorgeous locations and colorful creatures, there's more than a hint of other 19th-century adventure tales. Readers may want to explore those after reading this, which is considerably more accessible to 21st-century readers.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about steampunk. What's the appeal of stories set in a world where electricity, for all practical purposes, never happened? Are there any devices from the Expeditioners' world that you'd like to see in ours?
Have you ever had your work stolen by someone who tried to pass it off as his or her own? How did you feel? What did you do about it?
Does this story make you want to learn more about the Caribbean and maybe see it for yourself? Have you heard other stories of strange disappearances of ships and airplanes in that area?
- Author: S.S. Taylor
- Illustrator: Katherine Roy
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Ocean Creatures, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: McSweeney's McMullens
- Publication date: September 23, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
- Number of pages: 320
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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