The book is Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer by Will Summerhouse, and it was published on May 19, 2014.
What’s the book’s first line?
“If you read what Lumpkin wrote in the newspaper about my adventure at the top of the world, you only got half of the story. I don’t know why but he left out the best parts, like how I got chased all over the place, and shot at, and knocked out, and almost eaten—twice.”
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
Eleven-year-old Orion lives with his stodgy grandfather in eastern Maine, where nothing exciting ever happens. But then a series of strange events draws him into the mystery of a lost explorer, and Orion is swept up in a whirlwind of adventure that takes him to the top of the world. To survive he must outwit a scheming treasure hunter, team up with a gang of flimps, and take on a tyrant with an anger management problem. Can Orion solve the mystery and get back home alive? And just what are flimps, anyway?
Orion Poe is about to find out. Join him as he laughs, cries, bluffs, and shoots his way to the heart of one of the greatest mysteries in the history of exploration. Along the way he discovers that the world is far bigger—and stranger—than he ever imagined.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
As a boy I loved reading adventure stories, especially ones that featured characters who discover lost worlds. But many of the best ones, like Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, and Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, were written for adults, and today they would feel outdated to most readers. I wrote Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer because I wanted young readers to experience all the thrills and perils of a classic, old-school adventure story, without the old-school style of writing that often gets in the way.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
Orion Poe is an ordinary kid whose most distinctive trait is his impulsiveness, which gets him into trouble just as often as it gets him out of it. In the words of one reviewer, Orion is “a bit of a scamp; he doesn’t always listen to the adults around him, but at heart he’s a good-natured, honest boy who doesn’t mince words or lack a sense of humor when telling his story.” Orion is sort of like Huckleberry Finn—only without the straw hat and britches.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
The best books are the ones that stick with you long after you’ve finished them. Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer is such a book. Don’t just take my word for it, either—get a copy and find out for yourself.