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The Star Dunes

(Explorer Academy #4)

4.61  ·  Rating details ·  271 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Cruz, Sailor, Emmett, and the gang are on their way to Africa when Nebula misses their intended target and someone close to Cruz ends up on the brink of death. Secrets creep out from the shadows and leave Cruz with more questions than answers in this fourth title in the hit series.

A major discovery forces the Explorer Academy into the limelight in The Star Dunes, but Cruz
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Under the Stars
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Average rating 4.61  · 
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 ·  271 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cruz, Emmett, Sailor, Bryndis, Dugan, and the other Explorers on The Orion are headed to Africa, where they’ll help save gorillas, visit a cheetah sanctuary, and embark on a sandy adventure to find Cruz’s mom’s next puzzle piece. But new found fame, a poisonous encounter, and problems at home get in the Explorers’ way. Will Cruz ever uncover all his mother’s secrets, especially when every answer brings more questions?

Trudi Trueit returns to her enthralling middle-grade the Explorer Academy seri
From an 11-year-old: This series just got 100 times better with the addition of book four, The Star Dunes. Equally as gripping and interesting as the previous books, full of vivid, detailed, realistic illustrations, and irresistible. This book is hard to take a break from reading. You absolutely must read the books in order unless you want to be totally confused and for the plot to be not nearly as exciting as it should be. I recommend this book to all aspiring explorers, conservationists, inven ...more
Taurean Branch
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am continuing to love this series of books. They are quick to read and always leave me wanting more. I can’t wait to read the next.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book just made me like the series even more.The nebula will stop at nothing to kill Cruz.Even if that means harming another explorer.A lot happens in this book,and the characters develop a lot.We also get to learn just how hard Cruz might have to work to find his mother's cipher.She has done a really good job hiding it.I LOVE this series. ...more
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

This is a great books that just keeps you reading on and on. If you like books about adventurer this is a must to read.
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book.
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by James, age 11, 9/12/2020
In the fourth book of this series, our main character, Cruz, has made significant progress on his mother's cipher. But Nebula, the pharma-chemical company, is trying to kill him and dispose of him with all their might. The last thing a drug company wants is something that cures all diseases. That would ruin their business! His mother's next clue (that comes from the holographic journal his mother left for him) leads him to Sossusvlei, Nambi. This is where he w
Elizabeth Reid
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-reviews
3.5 stars.
I was really impressed with just about everything in this book (keep reading and I'll tell you about the one thing that DID bug me) as author Trudi Trueit did a fantastic job melding great story telling with learning. The Star Dunes covers geography, conservation, archeology, biology, technology, and science fiction all into a fantastic experience that I really think kids will enjoy.

I learned so much about gorillas, pangolins (confession: I'd never even heard of pangolins until I rea
Kailey (Luminous Libro)
Cruz is in Africa searching for the missing clues his mother left behind for him to find after her death. The explorers help a family of mountain gorillas in Uganda, and then follow the clues to a desert region of Africa. The evil Nebula organization is breathing down their necks, and Cruz is devastated when one of his friends is targeted.

I loved this plot! There is plenty of action and suspense. I never knew what was going to happen next! I really loved that Lani is finally part of the team! Sh
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Daniel and I finished reading another book in this series! They are so good. We love this series - the characters (esp Cruz, Emmitt, Lani, Sailor, Bryndis, Dugan, Taryn, Aunt Marisol, Fanchon...) are so interesting. In this book, Cruz finds the 4th piece of the cipher - in Namibia. Before he found that piece, the team had gone on a mission to save gorillas from an illness and while there, Bryndis collapsed. Turns out Nebula had put poison in his duffel bag for him, but Bryndis asked to borrow it ...more
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
The Star Dunes picks up immediately where The Double Helix left off. Teen Cruz is trapped in a deep hole while his classmates are excavating a Turkish archaeological site. Trueit starts off this installment of the Explorer Academy series with some intense action: Cruz is swept out of the hole by rushing water that tumbles him through lava tubes before depositing him in a prehistoric cavern filled with untouched artifacts. And then things really get going. All the young explorers continue their e ...more
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is full of adventure and action, especially with Cruz, Aunt Marisol, and Fanchon. It is a sensational middle-grade book that will inspire young readers. Even though Nebula tries to stop and prevent Cruz from finding his next cipher to create his mom's formula, he still finds a way to find the cipher and escape, but sometimes at a cost. From lush jungles to deadpan deserts, the book has everything about Africa. I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in reading the 4th ...more
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
4/5/2021 - 7/10

Book 4 is another good entry to the series. It's similar to the rest - a good adventure with some mystery, good characters, lots of science and culture, and my 6 year old loves it. One thing is starting to annoy me a bit: Cruz does make a lot of bad decisions in terms of not trusting his support group (not telling people about a spy, go after poachers without letting adults know, going to the dunes, etc). I realize this helps further the plot, but it just seems dumb.
Beth Anne
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
Had to finish this one up tonight! Such a fun series: action and adventure mixed with not-too-distant future technology, conservation, teamwork, secret codes, and espionage. After I finished I spent the evening working out the coded message on page 134 with my daughter. Love those fantastic little details!
Caprice Hokstad
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
The main thing wrong with these books is the very abrupt and unsatisfying endings. This is a series I should have waited until all the books were out and binged them all in order. Too long between releases. When is book 5 due?
Two BookWorms Blog
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As always, I love learning about the real scientists who are working in the field and love that this series shares their information with young readers.

For the full review:
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this book series! It is fun, adventurous, and great for any middle grade fiction fan! You also get to learn cool things about nature and history. For any person with that explorer spark, please read this!
ZariYah Champlin
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
ILTBSM! (I Love This Book So Much!) Like another review said, you HAVE to read the books in order, or it will not make sense. This series is so cool and I think the final book is coming out on January 5, 2021. Can’t wait to finish the series!
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book

This book is the kind of book that keeps you up all night . It’s so interesting. It’s like you getting sucked in the book and getting you envolved.
Bamboo Vietnam
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Star Dunes is the fourth book in the Explorer Academy series by @truditrueit . Cruz and his friends continue to follow the clues left by his mother to find pieces of the puzzle. But a holographic reconstruction of his mother deepens the mystery. There are more questions than answers in this book, but I enjoyed reading it. I’m not sure when the next book is coming out, but I know I’ll be getting it!
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
really good book
J Wells
I just love this series, disney+ needs to make it a show, I would binge it.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
Excellent series! Cannot wait for Book 5 to come out.
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Boys LOVE this series.
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Educational. Conservation minded. Adventurous. A great story-driven series.
Nathan Donovan
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was good, especially the setting.
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good adventure!
Dec 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book.

Awesome fourth book filled with action and tons of suspense. I'm looking forward to when the next book comes out.
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Ever since writing her first play in the fourth grade, Trudi fell in love with storytelling. As a TV reporter, she got to tell other people's stories. Now, she tells her own!

Trudi writes the EXPLORER ACADEMY series, National Geographic's first fiction series for kids. Her other fiction titles include MY TOP SECRET DARES & DON'TS, THE SISTER SOLUTION, STEALING POPULAR, and THE SECRETS OF A LAB RAT

Other books in the series

Explorer Academy (8 books)
  • The Nebula Secret (Explorer Academy, #1)
  • The Falcon's Feather (Explorer Academy, #2)
  • Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure
  • The Double Helix (Explorer Academy #3)
  • Explorer Academy Ultimate Activity Challenge
  • Explorer Academy Future Tech: The Science Behind the Story
  • The Tiger's Nest (Explorer Academy, #5)

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