UNEARTHED: Indiana Jones in Outer Space

Lynn: I have great respect for teen readers. They eat up books dealing with serious social issues, books that open doors to diverse cultures, and books carefully examining different points of view. But hey—sometimes even teen readers just want to have fun! So, librarians and teachers, when teens come looking for fun, here’s something to hand them: best-selling authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s Unearthed (2018), the first of two books best described as Indiana Jones in outer space.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerScavenger Amelia Radcliffe, desperate to earn enough money to buy her little sister out of slavery, takes an illegal trip to a newly discovered planet. Amelia has no interest in the archaeology of ancient temples or in knowing much about the planet at all. Meanwhile, Jules Addison has traveled to the planet to exonerate his disgraced father, a linguist and expert on the mysterious communications sent by the Undying—the planet’s former residents—who may have warned humanity that pursuing the planet’s enticing technological riches will lead to annihilation. Jules and Mia team up to solve the Undying’s puzzles, avoid their fiendish traps, and stay ahead of rival scavenger teams and ruthless government special forces. Oh yes—they must also somehow stay alive.

This book sits squarely in the “don’t-look-too-closely-just-enjoy-the-ride” category of which I am especially fond. Deadly puzzles, twists, turns, double-crosses, cinematic adventure scenes, and secrets upon secrets enhance a breakneck pace. Expect high demand for the sequel, Undying, due in December.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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