Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

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The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story

Long before the Spanish landed in the New World, a civilization blossomed in the Honduran jungle. Then, for some unknown reason, the area was abandoned, and the jungle reclaimed the acreage, leaving behind tantalizing tales of the Lost City of the Monkey God. In 2012, as part of a reconnaissance team, thriller writer Douglas Preston boarded a plane and flew over the mountains of Honduras searching for this lost city. Thanks to modern technology, the team discovered it tucked away in a valley ringed by high mountains, deep in a region full of drug traffickers and illegal logging operations.

Despite torrential rains, numerous poisonous snakes and hordes of mosquitoes, chiggers and sand flies, the expedition wandered the dense ruins, finding more than they could have possibly imagined, including an incurable disease. Preston adroitly combines tension, anticipation and lush and vivid descriptions of the expedition with an examination of the Old World diseases the Spaniards unleashed on the indigenous populations of the New World. This modern-day archeological adventure and medical mystery reads as rapidly as a well-paced novel, but is a heart-pounding true story. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer