You've Seen the Animated Short, Now Read the Series!



Twelve-year-old Cruz Coronado has been invited to become part of an elite group of young explorers in Washington, D.C. Yet even before Cruz can leave his home in Hawaii, an attempt is made on his life. Things only get more dangerous when Cruz arrives in the nation's capital. Someone wants him dead and it might have something to do with a secret his mom took with her to the grave. Join Cruz and his fellow explorers as they travel the globe, following clues to unlock a mystery that could change their world, and ours, forever. Be sure to look for the hidden codes throughout the book! National Geographic, for ages 8 and up.

"A fun, exciting, action-packed ride that kids will love."

— J.J. Abrams

"This exciting series opener introduces young readers to the joys of science and nature."

— Publishers Weekly

"This series opener from a new imprint of National Geographic is a fully packed high-tech adventure that offers both cool, educational facts about the planet and a diverse cast of fun characters."

— Kirkus Reviews



The explorers embark on the adventure of a lifetime as they set sail for the icy North on the Academy's flagship, Orion. For Cruz, the danger only increases as he seeks to find the second piece of a puzzle his mother left behind. On a mission to help save whales, Cruz nearly drowns and soon discovers, his close call was no accident. With Cruz's nemesis hot on his tail, it's a race to see who can decode the clues and reach the reward first. Will Cruz get there in time? Or is it all a carefully-laid trap? More hidden codes and puzzles are to be found along the way. 

"Inspires the next generation of curious kids to go out into our world and discover something unexpected.” 

— James Cameron

"Sure to appeal to kids who love code cracking and mysteries with cutting-edge technology."

— Booklist



Traveling through the Mediterranean Sea with the rest of the explorers, Cruz is on the hunt for the the third piece of his mother's formula. But things take a turn for the worse when his father, suddenly, goes missing. Could Nebula be behind the disappearance? Back in Hawaii, Cruz's best friend, Lani, steps in to try to solve the mystery, putting her own life in peril. A secret source reveals Nebula is out to stop Cruz from finding the formula before he turns 13. But why? Cruz has more questions than answers as he rushes to save his father and uncover the next piece of his mother's cipher before time runs out. 

"Explorer Academy is sure to awaken readers' inner adventurer and curiosity about the world around them. But you don't have to take my word for it - check out Cruz, Emmett, Sailor and Lani's adventures for yourself!"

— LeVar Burton



A new face on board Orion brings Cruz's worlds colliding, just as a major close call tears them apart. En route to Africa, Team Cousteau is now down a major player, and Cruz can't help but be preoccupied by the hole in his life. The discovery of his mom's next clue leads him to the most exotic location yet-: a vast desert - with no other information to lead the way, while an unlikely ally helps Cruz pursue another piece of the puzzle. Meantime, tech chief Dr. Fanchon Quills has a technological breakthrough which gives Cruz a glimpse into the past and reveals more about his future than he may really want to know.

"Nonstop action and a mix of full-color photographs and drawings throughout make this appealing to aspiring explorers and reluctant readers alike."

— School Library Journal

"Inspired by the adventures and research of real-life National Geographic explorers, Explorer Academy is exciting and smart. 

— Karen Bokram

Editor-in-Chief, Girls' Life




On an island nation in the Indian Ocean, the explorers venture through a vast underwater world and take part in a friendly robotics competition. But the tides of good fortune quickly change when Team Cousteau must jump into action to rescue their teacher. Meanwhile, the team follows Cruz's mother's clues to a magnificent temple high in the Himalyas. There, Cruz is confronted by a familiar foe who's determined to stop him from completing his most important mission of all. In this life-or-death showdown, Cruz uncovers a hidden message that makes him question his own mortality.

"ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!  Explorer Academy is a fabulous feast for mind and heart - a thrilling, inspiring journey with compelling characters, wondrous places and the highest possible stakes."

— T.A. Barron,

author of the Merlin Saga


From the jungles of Borneo to the forests of Tasmania, the explorers embark on some of their most challenging expeditions, so far. Is it possible that an animal once thought extinct still exists? For Cruz, it is a time of self-discovery as he seeks to make sense of the family mystery he is slowly unraveling. His search for the seventh cipher leads him to an ancient city, even as he remains on the hunt for the explorer spy. Who is betraying him? And why? More surprises are on the way as Cruz faces new revelations about his destiny and those who are determined to keep him from fulfilling it!



Oct.  5, 2021!