The Explorers Cover

"THE EXPLORERS is a rollicking and clever adventure! Chock full of brilliant plot twists, pitch-perfect humour and non-stop action. Kress has kicked off this series with a bang!"

- Arthur Slade, author of The Hunchback Assignments

Featuring a mysterious society, a secretive past, and a pig in a teeny hat, The Explorers: The Door in the Alley is the first book in a new series for fans of The Name of This Book Is a Secret and The Mysterious Benedict Society. Knock once if you can find it—but only members are allowed inside. 

 This is one of those stories that start with a pig in a teeny hat. It’s not the one you’re thinking about. (This story is way better than that one.) 

This pig-in-a-teeny-hat story starts when a very uninquisitive boy stumbles upon a very mysterious society. After that, there is danger and adventure; there are missing persons, hired thugs, a hidden box, a lost map, and famous explorers; and also a girl on a rescue mission.

The Explorers: The Door in the Alley is the first book in a series that is sure to hit young readers right in the funny bone.


OUT NOW!! - from Delacorte Random House.

Order your copy of the book here: IndieboundAmazon USA, Amazon Canada, Barnes and Noble, Indigo

For a complete list of USA purchasing links visit here.

Order your copy of the audio book here: Indiebound, Barnes and Noble, Amazon USA

Click here for your free download of THE EXPLORERS: THE DOOR IN THE ALLEY STUDY GUIDE for your class!

 Photo gallery of THE EXPLORERS pics! 



"A boy used to predictability joins forces with a girl who wants to belong in this wildly funny adventure. . .Animals in teeny hats, Wonderland-style logic, and loads of wordplay and sarcasm will keep readers giggling all the way through to the dramatic—and metafictive—cliffhanger. Readers will look forward to the sequel to this dizzying loop-the-loop." - Kirkus (full review here)

"This is a rollicking read, full of derring-do and old-fashioned villainy. A narrator inserts sly and humorous comments alongside amusing footnotes. Comical chapter headings include “In Which Great Revelations Are Greatly Revealed” and “In Which We Meet a Pig in a Teeny Hat. Again.” The language is quite sophisticated, with challenging vocabulary. Readers of Lemony Snicket will find a tale of adventure in a similar vein to “A Series of Unfortunate Events” . . . VERDICT A quirky and lighthearted romp with likable characters and ample plot twists and turns; hand to fans of Lemony Snicket."School Library Journal (full review here)

"[A]n exhilarating whirl of life-threatening danger. . . Kress provides for her increasingly tight protagonists a notably diverse supporting cast ranging from a female Indiana Jones (with an affinity for animals but not people skills) to a pig wearing a teeny hat." - Booklist

"Equal parts quirky comedy, thriller (think Artemis Fowl), and absurdist mystery, The Explorers: The Door in the Alley is a book that will surprise and delight young readers looking for a refreshing and exciting new addition to their reading list!" - CM Magazine (full review here)

"[A] funny, offbeat, and subversive tale. . .Occasional footnotes and other humorous asides from the omniscient narrator break the fourth wall and ramp up the playfulness; the zaniness of the Society and Evie’s swashbuckling efforts to find her missing and imperiled grandfather act as foils for Sebastian’s straitlaced personality. Extravagant descriptions of the Explorers Society, with its part-fantasy-closet, part-amusement-park amenities, will provoke sighs of envy from Kress’s target audience: clever, diligent readers like Sebastian with the imagination and spirit to become rule-breakers like Evie." - Horn Book Magazine  

"[M]ixed in there are explorer rivalries and fights, the secret society itself, and some bad guys, and all of that is well developed, but the real strength in this novel is the character development. Sebastian is a complex kid, risk-averse and slow to catch sarcasm while being highly intelligent; he’s not always a sympathetic character as he hovers between wanting to keep helping the brash, parentless Evie find her only relation and longing to rush back into hiding mode." - Project Muse (full review here)

"Kress takes Sebastian, Evie, and readers on a thrilling and unforgettable adventure, full of melted men, crabby TAs, giant snakes, helpful llamas, plane crashes, and yes, animals in teeny hats! Sebastian, Evie, and the grown-up explorers we meet, are likable, engaging characters that make wonderful adventure companions for readers.  The Door In The Alley has so much fun, laughs, and imagination bubbling out of it, making it such an irresistible and impossible to put down read!" - 
"Narrated with a smart, brisk tone and plenty of snark, Canadian author Adrienne Kress's (Alex and the Ironic Gentleman) series debut The Door in the Alley packs plenty of twists, turns and danger." - Shelf Awareness (full review here)
"Adrienne Kress’ middle grade adventure novel, The Explorers: The Door in the Alley, is a whimsical story full of humor, suspense and mysterious intrigue. . .The major themes are family and friendship. Evie works towards finding her surviving family member, and Sebastian works with her to solve each twist their adventure takes them on. While in some instances Sebastian must go against his logical judgment, he is able to help his friend. This fast-paced book will leave readers wanting more." - Portland Book Review (full review here)
"The clever mystery, with its detailed black-and-white penned illustrations, occasional footnotes, and humorous asides from the author, leaves entertained readers ready for the sequel." - International Literacy Association (full review here)
"We learn that things are not always simple. People aren’t all bad or all good. Mistakes are made. But we learn it all in a fantastically wonderful book, told in a unique, fun style." - (full review/interview here)


Quill & Quire interview - RAISING THE STAKES: "...Author is undoubtedly her most prolific role to date."

Mr. Schu Reads interview: "I hope The Explorers: The Door in the Alley finds its way into the hearts of readers (obviously metaphorically – I’ve removed all the sharp objects from around it just in case, though)."

Shelf Awareness Interview: A conversation between Adrienne and the illustrator for THE EXPLORERS, Matt Rockefeller.

Global TV's The Morning Show (video):  Why author Adrienne Kress's new book draws in reluctant readers.

Richard Crouse Show (radio): This week Richard welcomes Adrienne Kress, author of “The Explorers: The Door in the Alley.” “Comedy, absurdity, adventure and mystery is where it all comes together."

CHCH Morning Live (video): Young adult author Adrienne Kress and her latest book The Explorers: The Door in the Alley.

Project Mayhem: "I just really loved creating the Society and kind of sort of wish it was real and I could live there."

Books Between Podcast: [A] chat about traveling, the difference between writing Young Adult vs. Middle Grade, and high tea.

Addicted Magazine - Dream Job: "As they say in Finding Nemo: “Just keep swimming.” You just have to keep on keeping on."

The Winged Pen: "I always love writing animal characters. So I got very excited every time that opportunity presented itself. Of course, since the story all comes from my brain, I made sure to present such an opportunity to myself as often as possible."


Click images for larger version. If you would like a free printed version of the "Readers are Explorers" poster for your library/school/bookstore, please contact Adrienne at adriennekress @