Who Wants A Himalayan Adventure When You Can Have Cable?
8 December 2014
C. Alexander London, author of An Accidental Adventure: We Are Not Eaten By Yaks, is wearing a pith helmet in his author photo. I mean, how could this book possibly go wrong?
In the story, we meet Oliver and Celia Navel, our t.v. loving hero and heroine who are thoroughly unimpressed that their world famous explorer parents are always finding cool new things. What they would be impressed with is cable. I mean, really, wouldn't you rather watch reality t.v. than hike the Himalayas? Oliver and Celia live in a world where they dream of cable.
Instead, thanks to a wager their father and fellow explorer Sir Edmund set, they have to spend summer vacation hiking the Himalayas trying to follow the last known path their mother was following to the magical city of Shangri-La. If their father wins the wager, he will be an even more famous explorer. And Sir Edmund will pay to install cable in their house. If he loses, Oliver and Celia have to become Sir Edmund's servants, but only on school breaks.
Home, by the way, is the Explorer's Club, a nifty place where explorers from all around the world come to share their adventures. Oliver and Celia live in a virtual museum of cool things people have brought back from expeditions. Who wouldn't like to live with stuffed cheetahs and buffalo heads? Celia and Oliver, that's who.
Before they know it, they are off on an adventure and adrenaline filled race through Tibet to find Shangri-La and their mother. Along the way they meet yaks, Lamas, poison witches, two yetis, and more. Their adventure is filled with danger, silliness, and a good deal of sibling rivalry. Celia notes that "younger brothers get all the attention" (169).
And, there's more! We Dine with Cannibals, We Give a Squid a Wedgie, and We Sled with Dragons are the fun sequels to Oliver and Celia's adventures.
[The real Explorer's Club in New York City, by the way, is one of my favorite places on the entire planet. Just like the Explorer's Club in the book, it's "an old building filled with many mysteries as old buildings tend to be" (26). It's a place where adventurers gather to tell the stories of their expeditions. Here's a photo of a lion shot by President Teddy Roosevelt located in the trophy room at the top of a long set of creaky stairs in the Explorer's Club. I climbed a lot of stairs to get that photo. I hope you like it! Below, is the fireplace on the first floor, framed by tusks.]
Verdict? In summer, great reads are popsicle worthy. You want to curl up under a tree somewhere with a good book and a delicious popsicle and have at it. In winter, it's hot chocolate and snuggly jammies. This is a triple hot chocolate jammy read worthy of staying inside on a snowy day!
More! More! More!
C. Alexander London's website