Monday, August 22, 2011

Leepike Ridge

N.D. Wilson is one of my favorite writers but I've never reviewed any of his books because I read them all before I started blogging. I have been rereading Leepike Ridge  because I 've been using it in a class I teach and thought this would be a perfect time to review it, especially since Wilson's newest book hits the shelves tomorrow. (I can not wait for mine to arrive!)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD THOMAS HAMMOND has always lived next to Leepike Ridge. He never imagined he might end up lost beneath it! What Tom finds underground will answer questions he hadn’t known to ask and change his life forever.

Leepike Ridge is an adventure, mystery, treasure hunt, and survival story all rolled into one. There are dubious characters aplenty who are up to no good. There is a worried and beleaguered mother, a man whose been living in a cave for three years, and a very loyal dog. At the center of all of this there is Tom, an ordinary boy who only wanted some peace and ended up on the adventure of a lifetime. Tom is the perfect protagonist because of his normalcy. He is completely average and has emotions any reader can sympathize with. He is a survivor though and when it is needed his instincts kick in to help him through his adventure. The book is brilliantly told written with words that paint pictures in the mind. Wilson has a true gift with language and his descriptions are beautiful, gritty, harsh, exactly what they need to be to convey the atmosphere of the scene. It is also a book that grow with a child. It is a perfect adventure story for the 8-10 year old crowd. Yet it can also be used with older kids who are studying The Odyssey as Wilson used many characters and scenarios from it when weaving this new tale. It is not a retelling or even a reworking though. Leepike Ridge is its own wonderful story.

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