I finished our latest read aloud today, Leepike Ridge, by N.D. Wilson. And it was once again...a smashing success! It was not the first time I have read this adventure to sixth graders, and it certainly won't be my last!
If you are looking for a book to hook a reader with adventure, survival, and danger...oh my! This is the book!
“In the history of the world there have been lots of onces and lots of times, and every time has had a once upon it.”
So begins Tom's story...
Tom is an eleven-year-old boy wandering the river's edge, digging up leeches, and keeping his mother happy by being a generally good kid. Tom and his mother live in a house chained to the rock on top of Leepike Ridge.
Deliverymen bring a new refrigerator for the house, and Tom's mother leaves the cardboard box and a large foam piece outside for Tom. Being 'too old' to play in refrigerator boxes, Tom kicks the box and foam down into the valley. It is later that night that Tom decides he must go after the foam and get rid of it.
Tom ends up on the foam rafting down the river. The night is serene. Tom falls asleep. When he awakens, he finds himself deeper down the river and deeper in trouble. The current of the water tips him off the raft and Tom collides with a rock. The force of the water pulls him under the lip of the rock face, under the water and under the ridge!
Tom is in a fight for his life before he ends up marooned on a gravel beach underneath Leepike Ridge. He is deep in an underground cave system with no light, no food, and no escape route. He finds that he shares his beach with a dead man which only makes his situation seem more dismal.
Will Tom find his way out of the caves? What secrets lie below the surface? Many dangers lie in wait for Tom including villainous treasure hunters!
N.D. Wilson writes a hang-on-to-the-edge-of-your-chair adventure that contains plot twists and turns which will leave the reader screaming for a MOVIE! (My students always ask me if a movie will be made from this book!)
There is much more to Leepike Ridge that readers will have to learn for themselves. There is a terrific ending, too, which (for me) is the best part of the whole story!
N.D. Wilson is the author of 100 Cupboards, Dandelion Fire, and The Chestnut King, a fabulous fantasy trilogy. Click HERE to go to his website. Be sure to watch out for his newest series, The Dragon's Tooth, to hit shelves in August 2011.
Mrs. T :)
P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!