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In the Desert: Explorers Wanted!    by Simon Chapman order for
In the Desert
by Simon Chapman
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I love this Explorers Wanted! series! The books are crosses between chapter books and interactive comics, with a built-in survival game. As in other volumes, Chapman (a high school physics teacher) intersperses accounts of historical explorers with factoids and survival information. The interactive element includes choices for the reader to make (e.g. equipment to bring, routes to take) and quizzes.

Having traveled through, and camped in deserts, from the Aussie outback to Baluchistan, I opened In the Desert with great interest. This mission takes readers into the Sahara Desert, to cross the wastes to the Ahaggan massif - there are rumors of a waterfall and rock paintings. Chapman explains how deserts and sand dunes were formed, survival techniques of plants and animals, and dangers including sandstorms, flash floods, dehydration, heatstroke and scorpions. He suggests edibles (like locusts!) in the environment. He explains how to find water, how to interact with desert inhabitants like the Tuareg, and techniques to manage your camel (they always made me seasick).

I enjoyed the adventure In the Desert. The series also includes missions Under the Sea, In the Jungle, On Safari, In the Wilderness, At the North Pole, In the Himalayas, and On the South Sea Islands. Explorers wanted for all these exciting expeditions!

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