The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon
By S. S. Taylor
(McSweeney's McMullens, Hardcover, 9781938073069, 320pp.)
Publication Date: December 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Computers have failed, electricity is extinct, and the race to discover new lands is underway! Brilliant explorer Alexander West has just died under mysterious circumstances, but not before smuggling half of a strange map to his intrepid childrenKit the brain, M.K. the tinkerer, and Zander the brave. Why are so many government agents trying to steal the half-map? (And where is the other half?) It’s up to Alexander’s childrenthe Expeditionersto get to the bottom of these questions, and fast.
S. S. Taylor lives in Vermont and has a strong interest in books of all kinds, expeditions, old libraries, mysterious situations, long-hidden secrets, maps, and exploring known and unknown places. She is most recently the author of Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean.
A Winter 201213 Kids’ Indie Next List Pick!
Nominated for a 2014-2015 Texas Bluebonnet Award!
Nifty gadgets, moments of moderate terror, and high stakes... Roy’s playful illustrations have an adventurous, Jonny Quest flair.”Publishers Weekly
"Can three orphaned siblings with half a map beat an oppressive government to a secret, gold-filled canyon?
Set in a future where the hacking of computers and depletion of natural resources has caused a return to steam and clockwork engines, Taylor’s novel crosses dystopian and steampunk genres in this fast-paced, plot-driven tale. An Explorer with a clockwork hand smuggles an old book to Kit, the book’s narrator. With his two siblings, brave Zander and preteen inventor M.K., he forms the Expeditioners, breaking the code hidden in the book and finding half a map from their late father, Alexander West, an Explorer of the Realm. Off they go to find the other half of the map and follow it, facing giant green slugs, huge birds and evil government agents. The black-and-white cartoon-style illustrations and the portrayal of wrench-wielding, smart-mouthed, fearless M.K. lighten the tone of the lengthy text and its underlying message of mistreatment of natural resources and indigenous peoples. The premise that there are undiscovered places, that '[a] map of the world isn’t a fixed thing. We know only what we can see,' is an intriguing one.
Full of kid power, clues, codes and maps, this will appeal to sophisticated readers who appreciate their adventure served with heaping helpings of cleverness."Kirkus Reviews
A wonderful example of steampunk done well.”School Library Journal
Beautifully written and nail-bitingly thrilling, this is an easy series to get hooked on.”San Francisco Chronicle
"Smart, enjoyable storytelling."ForeWord Reviews
"The story moves at a thrilling pace, and the adventure will capture the imagination of readers. Roy's illustrations add another terrific element to the story; the jacket, endpapers, and cover of the hardcover book are stunning. I hope this title marks the first in a series."The Show Me Librarian
"The Expeditioners has it all: secret maps, hidden treasure, villains, cool gadgets, plenty of adventure, and three intrepid siblings joining forces to save the day. Middle graders will love it, but this middle-ager couldn’t put it down."Shelf Unbound
"Sarah Stewart Taylor has a penchant for adventure that has led her to pen books with a wide-ranging sense of place and appeal." Rutland Herald
"The Expeditioners rollicks, twists, turns and chases through canyons and arroyos, along airships and gliders, through boxcars and crumbling mansions, and on the way the heroes uncover all sorts of fabulous mysteries through their own cunning and bravery. It is a thoroughly smashing read."Boing Boing
"An exciting adventure."Common Sense Media
"Beautifully written. S.S. Taylor writes a book for kids that sophisticated adult readers will love, too. Be prepared to do some heavy negotiating for your household’s copy!" Betty Confidential
"The Expeditioners will surely intrigue you." The Daily Pretzel
"'The Expeditioners' is an exciting ride from beginning to end." Cracking the Cover
Praise for O' Artful Death:
"Taylor does a lovely job of setting an atmospheric scene and luring us inside."
The New York Times Book Review