Friday, February 3, 2017

Leepike Ridge / N.D. Wilson / 240 pgs.

 Tom lives on a house on a rock in the middle of an isolated valley, but has very un-adventurous problems, like his mom dating one of his bland teachers. Half in defiance, and half just in exploration, he goes down to the river in the middle of the night and sets out on an expedition using a foam refrigerator box as a raft. But things quickly take a dangerous turn when he is swept underground into a cavernous mountain.

Surviving and making his way back will be hard enough, but, unbeknownst to Tom, there is also a grim conspiracy of treasure hunters at work to make sure he doesn't come back.

Wilson always does a nice job of presenting positive--albeit quirky--characters in a story with real stakes. He doesn't shy away from peril and darkness, but he always balances it with light and redemption. A good choice for adventurous kids whose parents don't want anything too mature. (As a bonus, classics fans will get a kick out of elements from The Odyssey, Tom Sawyer, and other famous works, which Wilson nods to without following slavishly.)

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