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Adventure series (Willard Price) facts for kids

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The Adventure series is a collection of children's adventure novels by Willard Price. The original series, comprising 14 novels, was published between 1949 and 1980, and chronicles the adventures of teenagers Hal and Roger Hunt as they travel the world collecting exotic and dangerous animals. Beginning in 2012, Anthony McGowan published four more novels in the series, which featured Hal and Roger's children.


Shortly before his death, in 1983, Price wrote that:

My aim in writing the Adventure series for young people was to lead them to read by making reading exciting and full of adventure. At the same time I want to inspire an interest in wild animals and their behavior. Judging from the letters I have received from boys and girls around the world, I believe I have helped open to them the worlds of books and natural history.


Hal and Roger Hunt are the sons of animal collector John Hunt; they have taken a year off school to help capture animals for their father's collection on Long Island, New York, after which the captive specimens are sold to zoos, circuses and nature parks. In Amazon Adventure, the boys' literary debut, Hal is 18 years old and Roger is 13 years old.

Hal is the typical hero: tall, handsome, and muscular, possessing an almost limitless knowledge of natural history and a caring and trusting disposition. Roger, on the other hand, is an ardent practical joker, often mischievous but just as resilient and resourceful as his older brother.


Each novel in the Adventure series is notable for its memorable selection of loathsome villains and enemies. Some of these, through their interactions with Hal and Roger, are led to redeem their past misdeeds, while others simply suffer the consequences of their actions. Only one character, the cunning "Reverend" Merlin Kaggs, appears as a villain in more than one book.


In October 2006, the Price family of Holden, Massachusetts entered into an agreement to sell the copyrights and related legal rights for the fourteen Adventure series titles, plus the right to use Price's name, to London-based literary brand owner and investor Fleming Literary Management for an undisclosed six-figure sum.

In July 2011, it was announced that English author Anthony McGowan had been contracted by Puffin Books to write four new books based on Willard Price's classic wildlife adventures series. The first, Leopard Adventure, will see Hal's son Fraser and Roger's daughter Amazon meet for the first time, before sending them off on an adventure to save the rare Amur leopard. Brothers Hal and Roger, who enjoyed a close relationship as teenagers, have fallen out in the new books.

"Hal Hunt has set up this organisation which goes around the world saving species and his son Fraser works with him on that. He's fallen out with Roger who's a freelance conservationist – there's some sibling rivalry there. Hal's slightly hand in hand with big business, he's slightly compromised, and Roger's more of a free spirit," said McGowan, a fan of the Price novels as a child. "Roger and his wife have disappeared and because Amazon's parents have gone missing, Fraser comes to meet her."


Willard Price

Title Year Summary
Amazon Adventure 1949 Hal and Roger travel to the Amazon rainforest, where they embark on an expedition into the uncharted territory of the Pastaza River.
South Sea Adventure 1952 Hal and Roger become stranded on an island in the South Seas, in the manner of Robinson Crusoe.
Underwater Adventure 1954 Hal and Roger join the Oceanographic Institute as part of an underwater operation in the South Seas.
Volcano Adventure 1956 Hal and Roger join forces with volcanologist Dr. Dan Adams to study volcanoes in the Pacific.
Whale Adventure 1960 Hal and Roger join the crew of a whaling ship, working under the nefarious Captain Grindle.
African Adventure 1963 Hal and Roger Hunt search for a man-eating leopard, but fall afoul of a sinister organisation known as the Leopard Society.
Elephant Adventure 1964 Hal and Roger attempt to track down a rare white elephant in Africa's Mountains of the Moon.
Safari Adventure 1966 Hal and Roger join warden Mark Crosby in Tsavo National Park, where wildlife poaching is a major problem.
Lion Adventure 1967 Hal and Roger must help save the people of Mtito Andei from a man-eating lion.
Gorilla Adventure 1969 Hal and Roger search for gorillas deep in the Congo jungle.
Diving Adventure 1969 Hal and Roger embark on a specimen-collecting trip to Undersea City.
Cannibal Adventure 1972 Hal and Roger travel to New Guinea, where there make contact with a cannibalistic tribe.
Tiger Adventure 1979 Hal and Roger are in India, where they search for a rare white tiger, high in the Himalayas.
Arctic Adventure 1980 Hal and Roger travel the ice floes of Greenland.

Anthony McGowan

Title Year Summary
Leopard Adventure 2012 Amazon Hunt (age 12, daughter of Roger) and her cousin Frazer (age 13, son of Hal) must brave the Russian wilderness to save the Amur leopard.
Bear Adventure 2013 Amazon's parents have been lost in a plane crash, and her only hope is that they are wandering the wild forests of Canada.
Shark Adventure 2013 On a remote Polynesian island, Amazon and Frazer Hunt are saving rare leatherback turtles.
Python Adventure 2014 Amazon's parents have been kidnapped, and their trail leads to Mumbai, India.
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