Tuesday, September 11, 2018

National Geographic Kids: Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit; 2 Giveaways 1) a trip and 2) book giveaway (open to US/CANADA)

You've Been Accepted...to the Explorer Academy!

Welcome to Day #7 of the Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit on September 4th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Trudi and the Explorer Academy team, as well as 10 chances to win a copy of Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret and swag!

A Diverse Cast of Characters
by The Explorer Academy Team

Explorer Academy is a global school, in every sense of the word.

First, the teachers, most of whom were explorers for the Society, come from and have worked all over the world. Cruz’s aunt Marisol, who is Mexican American, is from Hawaii, like him. She has traveled to the Amazon, Nigeria, Tibet, and jolly old England, often sending Cruz postcards from the road. Monsieur Legrand, professor of fitness and survival training, is from Paris and has spent his life pursuing amazing adventures, like hiking the Atacama desert, diving in Mexican cenotes (underwater caves), and paragliding the Alps, and he was even once an aerial performer in Cirque du Soliel. Other professors come from Japan, Australia, India, and New York.

Then there are Cruz’s classmates. Only the best students are selected from around the globe. Cruz’s best friends are Emmett and Sailor. Emmett is Chinese Canadian, invents some of the most amazing technology in the book, and loves soccer. Sailor is from New Zealand and has Maori ancestry. She’s very competitive and Cruz learns some fun Kiwi slang from her.

Check out this map of all the places Cruz’s classmates are from:

Lastly, the school itself travels around the world. How does that work? Well, it’s on a ship, of course! Each class at Explorer Academy is assigned to a ship in the Academy’s fleet. Cruz’s class, along with their professors, set sail on Orion at the end of The Nebula Secret. Throughout the series, readers will explore new locations as Orion traverses the globe. See if you can guess one of the locations in book 2, The Falcon’s Feather, from these clues. Hint: It’s the home of one of Cruz’s classmates.
  1. This island nation is Europe’s westernmost country.
  2. Located where two tectonic plates come together, volcanoes and geysers provide most of the country’s electricity through hydroelectric power.
  3. This country is the smallest ever to compete in the World Cup soccer tournament.
The Nebula Secret is available September 4, 2018, wherever books are sold.
The Falcon’s Feather is available March 19, 2019. You can pre-order it here.


Blog Tour Schedule:

September 3rd — BookhoundsYA
September 4th — Kid Lit Frenzy
September 5th — Beach Bound Books
September 6th — Java John Z's
September 7th — YA and Kids Books Central

September 10thChristy's Cozy Corners
September 11th — Chat with Vera
September 12th — A Dream Within a Dream
September 13th — Book Briefs
September 14th — Jean Book Nerd

“A fun, exciting and action-packed ride that kids will love.”  
—J.J. Abrams, director of Star Trek, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lost and Alias

"Explorer  Academy  is  sure  to  awaken  readers’  inner  adventurer  and  curiosity  about  the  world  around  them."
—LeVar  Burton,  host  of  “Reading  Rainbow”and “LeVar  Burton  Reads”

Buy: National GeographicAmazon | Indiebound
Follow TrudiWebsite | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube

Follow National Geographic Kids: Website | Twitter | Books Twitter | Facebook | Youtube

Adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers.

Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and augmented reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him, and why?

Readers can get in on the excitement with puzzles and codes embedded throughout.  

About the Author: Author Trudi Trueit is a gifted storyteller for middle-grade audiences. She has written more than 100 books for young readers, both fiction and nonfiction, including The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Trueit lives in Everett, Washington.


  • One (1) winner will receive a copy of Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret, plus an Explorer Academy tote, stickers, folder, poster and pin!
  • US/Canada only
  • Sept. 11 - Oct. 2, 2018

One lucky family of four will embark on a spectacular ship-based adventure, just like the students at Explorer Academy. Experience the remarkable beauty of Alaska’s famed Inside Passage on this thrilling 8-day voyage, courtesy of National Geographic Expeditions. Get up close to icebergs and calving glaciers. See orcas and humpback whales, then listen to them with the ship's hydrophone. Visit Glacier Bay National Park, learn about Alaska’s rich Native American heritage, and pass islands teeming with wildlife, including brown bears, sea lions, sea otters, and perhaps the world's highest density of nesting bald eagles. Visit natgeoexpeditions.com to see a detailed itinerary for Alaska's Inside Passage Cruise. Enter here! ⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦

Calendar of Events

Join Explorer Academy author Trudi Trueit and National Geographic explorer and venomous snake researcher Zoltan Takacs as they discuss the book series and answer questions from readers. Trudi will sign copies of the book as well.

Friday, September 21, 2018: Greenwich

Hosted by the Greenwich Public School District
184 Hamilton Ave.
Greenwich, CT 06830
6:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 22, 2018: New York Launch Event

18 West 18th Street
New York City, NY
1 p.m.

Sunday, September 23, 2018: Chicago

1301 East 57th Street
Chicago, IL
3 p.m.

Disclosure: This information provided by MMPublicity on behalf of National Geographic Kids for sharing with readers of Chat With Vera. Giveaway entered via the Rafflecopter widget is unique to Chat With Vera and the prize will be mailed by and directly to the winner. Other contest prizes are unique to NG.


  1. To keep their minds active:
    1. arts & crafts
    2. visiting museums
    3. reading books & listening to audiobooks

  2. Our grandson plays the violin, takes swimming lessons and spends time on his tablet or laptop computer.

  3. I entered. I also like the games and videos part of the website.

  4. We actually do games that challenge them. They learn music. They do sports.

  5. I like all the birds videos, pictures, & facts pages.

  6. This book looks really good! I think my kids would love it! Thanks for sharing it at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!

  7. 1. grandkids
    2. schnauzer "Rocky"
    3. planing next trip

  8. We love to take the grands to museums, historical sites, and fishing.

  9. 1. Listening to music.
    2. Going on bike rides.
    3. Going to museums and interacting with exhibits.
    When my kids were in elementary school we had International Night. Each classroom picked a country of one of the students, thoroughly studied culture and food, with flag hung in multi-purpose room. They had pretend passports to get stamps at 8 exhibits. The food, dance, music and culture shared was quite an experience like traveling there.

  10. We have an annual pass to a local zoo that my nephew loves to go to.

  11. The orca is the number one trending animal right now on their site. Good time to be an orca I guess.

  12. 1. We visit science museums and play museums.
    2. We spend a lot of time out in nature.
    3. We read a lot as well as play many board games.

  13. Arts and crafts,nature walks, and playing in the yard.

  14. 1. Nature walks
    2. Podcasts
    3. Documentaries

  15. 1. Weightlifting
    2. Playing the dulcimer
    3. Reading

  16. 1. Reading
    2. Sudoku puzzles
    3. Sleep


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