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Willard DeMille Price (28 July 1887 – 14 October 1983) was a Canadian-born American natural historian and author of children's fiction.
Price was born in Peterborough, Ontario, and his family subsequently moved to the United States when he was four. He acquired his MA and Litt.D from Columbia University, before going on to edit the journals Survey and World Outlook. He travelled on many expeditions for the National Geographic Society and the American Museum of Natural History, in particular to Japan. He documented his travels in a series of non-fiction books and also used them as inspiration for his Adventure series of novels for young readers, which depict the exploits of teenage zoologists Hal and Roger Hunt.
Shortly before his death, in 1983, Price commented 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.
In 2006, the Price family sold the copyrights and related legal rights for the fourteen Adventure series titles, plus the right to use Price's name, to London-based Fleming Literary Management
Matt Dickinson, our Guest Editor for January 2013 - Ah! It is probably just a teeny bit dated by now but (predictably given my later wanderings as a film maker) the Willard Price adventure series ticked all my twelve-year-old boxes for adrenaline, mystery and wild places long before I ever held a compass in my hand. Hal and Roger are the stars of these books, teenagers lucky enough to travel the world as zoologists, and unfortunate enough (hooray from the reader’s point of view!) to rub up against smugglers and voodoo practitioners and murderers and evil-doers every time they step off the beaten track. The wildlife is gratifyingly wild. The peril is so vividly drawn it will have children quivering under their quilts (well I did!). The books are still going strong and I’m not surprised.
'Just stay away from the island . . .' Hal and Roger Hunt are visiting New Guinea, one of the wildest islands in the world. But their adventure becomes deadly when the brothers discover that man-eating crocodiles and deadly snakes aren't the only things after their blood. They are pursued by an old enemy, whois out for revenge . . .
'Fountains of fire, explosions ...it's hell let loose.' Hal and Roger Hunt embark on an earth-shattering expedition when they join forces with world-famous volcanologist Dr Dan Adams. And as their ground-breaking research of the volatile Pacific volcanoes hots up, the brothers' mission erupts into an awesome adventure...
'No use fooling yourself. The sharks got him.' Hal and Roger Hunt are hoping to have a whale of a time when they agree to join the crew of a whaling ship. But as they begin working for the evil Captain Grindle, face dangerous battles with sharks, and then find themselves shipwrecked, the boys realise they're about to have a much bigger adventure than they bargained for.
'The devil has killed our people'. Hal and Roger Hunt are in India, investigating rare and dangerous animals for their father. But on the trail of the rare white tiger, high in the Himalayas, disaster strikes and the brothers realise they are walking into the jaws of death.
'He left them there to die...' Hal and Roger Hunt dive straight into danger on a specimen-collecting trip to Undersea City. But it's not just sharks and killer whales the brothers have to fear when they are plunged into the depths of another adventure.
'This man has promised to kill...' Hal and Roger Hunt are on the trail of a vicious man-eating leopard. Yet they are also being hunted themselves, by a merciless band of killers known as the Leopard Society. Can they trust their own tracker, Joro, despite knowing that he has pledged to lead them to their deaths?
The human bait was the boys themselves...Hal and Roger Hunt have been sent on a terrifying mission - they must save the population of Mtito Andei from a man-eating lion. But the 'King of the Beasts' isn't the only thing trying to kill the boys...Have the brothers bitten off more than they can chew this time?
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