There can’t be many people who don’t know publishing superstar Wilbur Smith, but did you know that he now also writes for a younger audience?
Cloudburst, out this month is the first book in his new Jack Courtney adventure series. If you are a Wilbur Smith fan, then you will know the Courtney’s from previous novels and now they are back, but the focus is on the younger members of the family.
Aimed at 10+ readers, Cloudburst follows 14-year-old Jack Courtney on a trip are to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with his parents for a gorilla conference, they’ve also promised to take his friends Amelia and Xander with them.
The Courtney’s have been very successful in their respective careers and retired early to devote themselves to environmental activism and the Courtney Conservation Foundation. They are keen to have Jack develop an understanding of what’s at stake if we don’t try to stop deforestation. Interestingly Jack’s uncle Langdon has a mining operation in the DRC. They meet up with him and his son Caleb soon after arriving.
However, things don’t go to plan, Jack’s parents go missing in the rainforest, abducted by mercenaries and nobody seems to have any answers. Jack is pretty sure that it’s got something to do with the nearby tantalum mines, but he needs to prove it. Along with Amelia and Xander, Jack must brave the jungle to save his parents.
Wilbur Smith’s first series for children is action packed and explores themes around friendship, family, environment and power. Co-written with author Chris Wakling, Smith was inspired to write for a new generation of readers after seeing the action young people in the world today are taking to question what is happening to the environment.
There are teaching resouces that the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation have created that you can download, and Wilbur Smith will be donating 20% of profits received from sales of each copy of the book to The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation – supporting work to improve literacy through adventure writing.
What more can you ask for? Cloudburst is the book that keeps on giving and there will be more to come.
You can find out more about it here.