The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon, A Dystopian Steam-Punk Adventure
Food is scarce due to massive drought. Off-market grocers (black markets) sell what products that can be found while the government turns its back on these illegal sales. The government has taken over all operations including business and scientific endeavors. Muller machines, earlier known as computers, have been shut down. All former knowledge and existing maps have been declared a lie. Only government-trained and enlisted explorers and map-makers are allowed to draw the New Lands that they discover. Any exotic products from the New Lands are owned by the government which oversees their distribution.
Alexander West was a celebrated cartographer and explorer with a wife and three children. He extended his talent to entertain his youngsters, often creating treasure maps and puzzles for them to decipher and follow. When their youngest child, M. K., was born, their mother died in an accident. Then, West died mysteriously as he explored New Lands. Very little is known about events surrounding his death, but government agents seized all his maps that were on display in his home and in the Expeditioner's Society.
Each of the West kids possess talents of their owns. Kit, his middle child, had inherited his father's talent for map-making, and Zander, his oldest child, dreamed of following in his father's footsteps and becoming an explorer. M. K. is a very young, gifted mechanic with a hot temper and an affinity for weapons and cursing. Their father proudly called them "The Expeditioners." They had cleverly hidden many of their father's maps that were still undiscovered by the government.
Shortly after a scruffy explorer with a clockwork hand thrust a map into Kit's hand in the market, government agents storm their house to try to find it. The West kids and their black knight parrot take off, using available transportation, for the Grand Canyon to find "The Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon" that is on their father's map. Along the way they are joined by a new special explorer-friend named Sukey. They believe their father's maps are leading them.
Guess who followed them?
What amazing devices did their father leave them in their well-equipped explorer's vests?
Will the kids survive the treacherous landscapes, vicious wildlife, and giant slugs? Who can they trust?
How will they handle the evil government agents who are in hot pursuit?
In The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon, you, too, may experience some real challenges as you try to make sense of the elusive setting with puzzling references to New Lands which appear to be part of maps in our modern existing atlases, extinct machines and the reincarnation of clockwork machines of the 1800s, a secret society, George Washington's inventions, steam-driven machines, a 400-year old hidden culture of Native American Southwest cave dwellers who wear long black Victorian costumes with bowler hats and are led by a kind dictator, an absence of understanding of knowledge that exists in our time, and no hint as to how the United States culture crumbled under an all-too powerful, selfish government that uses its citizens as rungs in a ladder for their own advancement.
Unfortunately, *curse words from tough little M.K., the bad guys, and others punctuate and puncture tense events, distracting from some of the most exciting moments.
Otherwise, it's an exciting story with great characters, harrowing moments, scary fantasy creatures, evil villains, and cool utilities built into the explorer's vests. Katherine Roy's stunning full-page pen-and-ink illustrations extend detail, reinforce the tension, elaborate the settings, describe the action, and create memorable landmarks in the story.
Activities for The Expeditioners were written by master teacher Suzy Red and come to you in both PowerPoint and PDF formats for easy and convenience in projection and printing. The Activities include:
re-Reading Discussion Cards
Explorers and Adventurers
Exploring the Cover of the Bookas a Word Artist
3-page Readers’ Theater Introduction: The Man with the Clockwork Hand
Preparing Your Intellectual Tools-Journaling
Vocabulary by Chapters
Making Connections, A Pre- and Post-Reading Discussion Guide
What’s Real? What’s Fantasy? Research to Check
Steampunk and Non Sequitir
Prologue - Chapters 1 and 2, Multiple Choice & Short Answer Comprehension
The Puzzling Clues, a Logic Puzzle
Visualizing the Story, Pages 46-93
Characters and Plot, Crossord Puzzle
Raleigh and the Escape,Chapters 18 and 19, Comprehension
Trouble on the Way, Chapters 20-24, Comprehension
Summarizing, Chapters 25-27, Multiple Choice
The Cave: Vehicles of Plot That Move the Story Forward
The Canyon: Vehicles of Plot That Move the Story Forward, 2 pages
The End: Vehicles of Plot That Move the Story Forward
Discussion and Writing Prompts
Plus, a BONUS Interactive Jeopardy-type Game in PowerPoint format
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