Join the Explorer Academy

National Geographic takes a dive into fiction with a new imprint and Explorer Academy books.

A leader in exploration and science for over 130 years, National Geographic is jumping into fiction with a new book imprint, Under the Stars. Created in 2018, the new imprint will have multiple series under its banner, but its main focus will be creating fact-based fiction that kids love.

“We want to use whatever attracts kids to connect them to the real world based on real science, real society, real culture,” Jennifer Emmett, vice president for content in the Kids and Family division at National Geographic, told USA Today. “We want to engage them with characters so they become even more interested in the science that National Geographic sponsors…. [With Harry Potter] kids were dying to grow up to be wizards, which they really couldn't do. But they can grow up to be explorers. We like that pathway.”

With a starring role in the new imprint, a seven-book series called Explorer Academy uses the colorful lore and proud tradition of the National Geographic Society’s earliest adventurers and their modern-day, high-tech discoveries to tell the story of 12-year-old Cruz Coronado.

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In Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret, Cruz is admitted into the elite Explorer Academy and joins 23 talented kids from around the world to become the next generation of great explorers. But as soon as he arrives at the Academy’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. From deciphering secret codes to uncovering the truth about his mother’s death, Cruz has his work cut out for him if he wants to find out what’s really going on.

Along the way, Cruz and his friends get help from explorers in the field doing real-world science and learn how friendship and science can save the world.

Kirkus Reviews says, “This series opener from a new imprint of National Geographic is a fully-packed, high-tech adventure that offers both cool, educational facts about the planet and a diverse cast of fun characters.” J.J. Abrams hails the book as “a fun, exciting, and action-packed ride that kids will love.” With more positive reviews from media and readers alike, the series is off to a good start.

Bringing the Academy to the World

Explorer Academy: The Double Helix (Book 3) hits stores on September 24, 2019! The Nebula Secret (Book 1) and The Falcon’s Feather (Book 2) are available now. Be sure to check out, where you will find games, quizzes, sneak peeks, and new content each month.

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You can also experience Explorer Academy in person at New York Comic Con from October 3-6, 2019! Stop by our booth at the Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th Street, New York, NY.

Join us for Explorer Academy Recruitment Day on October 10! Here’s a list of events:

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Nat Geo Education YouTube Channel
10:10 a.m. ET – Watch explorer Ronan Donovan speak about the secret life of wolves from National Geographic headquarters.

Hooray for Books
6:30-7:30 p.m. ET – Meet explorer Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant and hear from author Trudi Trueit.
1555 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

Childrens Book World
7 p.m. ET – Meet explorer Jennifer W. Lopez and hear from author Trudi Trueit.
17 Haverford Station Rd.
Haverford, PA 19041

Watch this space and our author tour calendar for more details, and stay tuned to @NatGeoBooks on Twitter for real-time updates.