Fred, Con, Lila and little Max’s plane is on the way to Manaus when it falls out of the sky. Now, lost in the Amazon rainforest, they must figure out the basics of survival: water, shelter, food. Do they wait for rescue, or find a way to rescue themselves?
As they get bolder and explore further afield, they see more traces of another human inhabitant, too – and then they find the map. Who was here before and where will the map take them?
Rundell’s writing is exquisite – simultaneously quiet and loud, and with a wildness that reflects both the children’s untamed natures and the forest around them. Fred is practical, Con sharp and thorny, Lila quiet and thoughtful, and Max is a miniature explosion. There is a hidden city, plus sloths and bees and snakes and caimans and everything inbetween. There are themes of friendship, the environment and survival, and it is completely, utterly wonderful. Pure adventure.
Winner of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups Children’s Book Award 2018: Overall Winner and Winner of Younger Reader’s category.