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The Polar Bear Explorers' Club

(The Polar Bear Explorers' Club #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,815 ratings  ·  344 reviews
It sounded like a respectable and worthy enough death for an explorer - tumbling from an ice bridge to be impaled upon a mammoth tusk - but Stella really, really didn't want that to happen, just the same.

Join Stella Starflake Pearl and her three fellow explorers as they trek across the snowy Icelands and come face-to-face with frost fairies, snow queens, outlaw hideouts, u
ebook, 336 pages
Published October 31st 2017 by Faber & Faber
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Sophie "The Forbidden Expedition" and "Explorers on Witch Mountain" are both book two. Despite the different covers and titles, they are the same book. (cred…more"The Forbidden Expedition" and "Explorers on Witch Mountain" are both book two. Despite the different covers and titles, they are the same book. (credit to Amazon reviewer "Auntie Claus" for this answer)(less)
Chloe Athanasiou It could be a similar reason why the chronicles on Narnia are a bit off because the author wanted it to be a different order than the editor. it's pos…moreIt could be a similar reason why the chronicles on Narnia are a bit off because the author wanted it to be a different order than the editor. it's possible, but I could be wrong.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,815 ratings  ·  344 reviews

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Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This was a perfect polar adventure that had characters I instantly fell in love with and a story I didn't want to end! I also laughed my butt off on multiple occasions and I cannot wait to see what these explorers get up to next.

Fantastic, just absolutely fantastic!
Jade Ratley
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a great children’s book! If you’ve got kids, then I highly recommend this. If you’re into cute children’s stories then I highly recommend this.
Obviously my rating is taking into consideration that this is a children’s book, I’m knocking a star for predictability, however there was a plot twist I wasn’t expecting! The writing was simplistic, however I liked the introduction of more sophisticated words at times, and the illustrations really added something special.
This was an adorab
Dannii Elle
I need to read middle grade more often! This provided the most charming story-line, delivered a fun Arctic adventure, is full of feminist ideals, and has created some of the most unique and lovable characters. You don't need to be of the intended age range to enjoy this, as every reader has much to gain from this adorable, inclusive, and individual story. ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stella Snowflake Pearl wants to be an explorer, just like her adopted father Felix. But girls aren't allowed into the Polar Bear Explorers Club, and Stella feels she has a lot to prove when Felix decides to bring her on his next adventure. However, Stella never expected to be thrown into an icy world full of snow pirates, savage fairies and carnivorous cabbages...

This was highly imaginative, and a whole lot of fun. It gives off a definite air of the golden era of adventurous explorations, mousta
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this book. What do you want in the run up to Christmas other than a good, snowy adventure story? But this was such a disappointment. Alex Bell uses a very tired formula of ‘girls can’t do x, so my character will!’, which may have worked 15 years ago, but most certainly will not now. It is still a good adventure story when it gets down to it, but I couldn’t get past this lazy trope. Having some bad-ass female explorers would’ve made a much better plot, it just felt like Bell ...more
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was super cute!
I really liked the main character, as well as the other core characters. I literally fell in love with them from page one, I love them so much! This was also so atmospheric! The snowy setting is just everything I wanted and it was just exactly what I wanted it to be.
I'm taking a star off because I had some slight issues with the pacing. I felt like it started very very slow, and while it did pick up, the slower pace in the beginning definitely impacted how much I enjoyed it
Alice (Married To Books)
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
I’ve owned this MG novel for a few years and by chance, it started snowing where I live in England. And since the story is set in the Icelands with plenty of snow and bitterly cold winds, it was the perfect atmospheric read! Stella’s dad is an explorer and she dreams of joining him on an adventure. Unfortunately there are two obstacles in her way. The first is that she is being shipped off to a posh finishing school. The second is that the special Polar Bear Explorers Club isn’t open to girls. I ...more
Belles Middle Grade Library
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing, freezing adventure of a good time! I’m so happy I’m finally reading these! Stella lives w/Felix. He is the only parent she’s ever known. He found her in the snow when she was a couple years old, & has raised her as his own. He is also a member of the Polar Bear Explorers Club. You can join as a junior member when you turn 12. Stella just turned 12 & Felix is about to leave on an expedition. Only girls aren’t allowed, & Stella thinks this is ridiculous. She ends up getting to ...more
Resh (The Book Satchel)
4.5 stars
Ahh I loved this (audio)book. Dan Bottomley was such a great narrator. I loved the humour and all the characters, especially Stella and Ethan. This book is full of friendship, adventures and magical creatures.

Polarthon 2021: A journey & Polar Fantasy.
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one, this was a really great and quick read! First read for mini polarthon!
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stella was found as a baby in the Icelands, a territory that is almost wholly unexplored. Now her adoptive father, Felix, a polar explorer, is returning to further explore the Icelands and Stella has been granted permission to accompany him - a high honour for a girl. Will she finally find answers to her true identity?
It took me a little while to get into this story, but once the expedition began I really warmed to it. It is non-stop action and adventure and is simply teeming with imagination. T
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unhauled
I finished my first book this year! Whouhou! Even though I'm having a terrible cold since new years eve....
Anyway, back to topic. I thoroughly enjoyed this read! It was really cute and it started of so strong! A magically crafted world full of wonders and pets I wished I could own! My only complain is, the adventure could have been a little more cleverly plotted.
3,5 stars
Sam (she_who_reads_)
The most enjoyable reading experience I’ve had in a long time!! This was possibly the cutest book I’ve ever read- full of amazing characters, magical creatures, and exciting adventures! I’ve fallen absolutely in love with this world- I need more more more!! There’s humour, danger, mystery, and some truely heartwarming moments. There’s wonderful character growth, the writing style is beautiful, and the world Alex Bell has created is so unique and full of wonder- I cannot wait to discover more of ...more
3.5 stars
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Alex Bell you've done it again! ...more
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun world this was! I now desperately want my own Polar Pets igloo, a pygmy dinosaur, and I definitely need a spotted goose. Loved it!
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS BOOK! From the little messages about life and friendship and family that were weaved into the story to the kids and the PARENTS (Felix is Dad of the year oh my god) and the Plot and - I just loved everything about it.

It was funny and entertaining and adventurous and just so much fun! It had an awesome Plot Twist. It was very imaginative with polar bears and unicorns and tiny dinosaurs. It was basically everything I want from a good Middle Grade Fantasy. I would reco
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When you’ve worked with a publicist for a while, and they ask you to be part of a new book release which ends up being a worldwide hit, you don’t turn the offer down, so when you’re asked again for a surprise middle grade book you don't hesitate in saying yes.

Stella Starflake Pearl is adopted, she lives with her Dad Felix, and their multitude of pygmy dinosaurs, unicorns, and a polar bear. Stella wants to be an explorer, a navigator to be exact, but the Polar Bear Explorer's Club forbids women f
Sarah (Bookish Bug)
A very fun, cute, and unique middle grade novel! Stella is a stubborn little girl who knows who she is and what she wants and she goes for it! I loved the characters and creatures in this story!!!
I read this yesterday, while the snow was tumbling down outside and the freezing wind was howling. It was so perfect to sit, quietly and comfortably, and read about polar bears, frost fairies, yetis and mysterious expeditions while looking at the snow. A match made in heaven.

This book is a classic middlegrade novel; filled with adventure, action and courageous characters. It's about finding out who you are, accepting others individuality, and coming to terms with your past. And – of course – abo
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This was really cute. I loved the characters as well as the storyline. It was well paced and well developed and I cannot wait for the next one. It is an easy read being middle grade but I still got a lot of pleasure from reading it. Recommend for anybody who wants a fun, polar adventure story.
Joëlle (Imnotareader)
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2021
4.5/5 ⭐️

During the #polarthon, I read The Polar Bear Explorer's Club by Alex Bell. It's a cute middle-grade fantasy. In this one, we are following Stella and her father Felix. On her birthday, Stella aunt's comes and tells Felix that his daughter has to go to a Lady's school. However, Stella doesn't want to go, and instead, Felix takes her on an exploration!

The world is FANTASTIC! They are things like unicorns, teeny tiny dinosaurs, polar bears, penguins, wolves, and of course: MAGIC! I enjoyed
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this little adventure. The description were outstanding and i also really liked the illustrations. Tbh living in such a wonderful world, full of polar bears, miniature penguin igloos, tiny dinosaurs, zebra unicorns and wolf whisperer would just totally be my thing. Also the end screams for sequel and i wouldn’t mind to join another exciting expedition!
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
What an adorable book!

Sometimes, a cute middle grade polar fantasy is what you need to help relax after reading some bigger and heavier books. The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club, though aimed at children, is fully accessible and enjoyable to adults too. It’s a vivid world seen through the eyes of four junior explorers who get separated from the adults in the group. They then proceed to have incredible and sometimes scary adventures, making discoveries of magical creatures (think frosty fairies and c
Katy Noyes
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent comic adventure/fairy tale with a 'thing' for moustaches...

It's a man's world for orphan Stella, found in the Arctic by an explorer and adopted, brought up to look on the globe as somewhere exciting to discover... but girls are NOT expected or encouraged to this kind of career. Persuasion and determination and Stella finds herself, alongside several other boys, on her first expedition to the cold lands in which she was found.

I won't describe deeply what happens next, but alongside a fe
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have loved Alex Bell’s adult and YA books. Seriously, if you haven’t checked out The Ninth Circle and Jasmyn please give them a go. They’re amazing and so underrated, in my opinion. I was super excited to pick up The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club. It’s such an exciting story that I believe will pull children in and keep them engaged throughout the story.

Its plot is fast paced and so easy to read. The reader follows a group of young explorers on a quest to find the coldest part of the Icelands as
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stella Starflake Pearl knows deep down that she’s an explorer – she’s got a middle name and all explorers have middle names! Defying the rules that no girls are allowed to explore, Stella tags along with her father on the latest Polar Bear Club expedition. When trouble out on the ice strikes, Stella is joined by Shay, a wolf whisperer, Ethan, a magician, and Beanie, a medic-in-training on an unforgettable adventure that will see them face off against some scary foes and put their differences as ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing

‘Savaged by a cabbage’

Set in an unspecified time and world this is a brilliant book. It builds a world long gone where we didn’t know what’s was out there. It combines this age of exploration story with a brilliant fantasy background and a well thought out magic system. After all who can read about Pygmy diplodocus without wanting one?

Stella has always been different, encouraged by her adopted father to always be herself and be outgoing all she wants to do is be an explorer. The rules forbid wom
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
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Alex Bell was born in 1986. She always wanted to be a writer but had several different back-up plans to ensure she didn’t end up in the poor house first. For some years these ranged from dolphin trainer to animal shelter vet but then, at fifteen, she had an epiphany involving John and Robert Kennedy and decided to become a lawyer instead.

To that end she eagerly started a Law Degree only to find it

Other books in the series

The Polar Bear Explorers' Club (4 books)
  • The Forbidden Expedition
  • Explorers on Black Ice Bridge
  • The Ocean Squid Explorers' Club

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Oh hey, we're nearly halfway through 2021! We can't really believe it either... Traditionally, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial...
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