Before he wrote the bestselling100 Cupboards trilogy and Ashtown Burials series, N. D. Wilson delighted readers with his first unforgettable action-adventure story of survival. . . .**
Thomas Hammond has always lived next to Leepike Ridge, but he never imagined he might end up lost beneath it! The night Tom's schoolteacher comes to dinner and asks Tom's mother to marry him, Tom slips out of the house and escapes down a nearby stream on a floating slab of packing foam. The night and stars lull Tom to sleep, and when he wakes, he has ridden his foam raft all the way to the ridge, where the stream dives underground. Flung over rapids and tossed through chasms, Tom finally hits shore, sore but alive. What Tom finds under Leepike Ridge—a dog, a flashlight, a castaway, a tomb, and buried treasure—will answer questions he hadn't known to ask, and change his life forever. Now, if only he can find his way home again. . . .
In the grand tradition of Robinson Crusoe, Hatchet, and Tom Sawyer, N. D. Wilson's first book for young readers is a remarkable adventure, a journey through the dark and back into the light.
A New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
"This is a ripping good adventure yarn. . . . Here's the perfect remedy for any summer that's been disappointingly short on thrills."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred
"Wilson's debut is a literate, sometimes humorous page-turner in the classic tradition. Well-read adventure lovers are in for a treat looking for echoes of The Odyssey and Tom Sawyer."—Kirkus Reviews
"Tom's adventures have several literary ancestors, including Tom and Huck in the cave, and the inventive Swiss Family Robinson, but this is solidly set in the present, standing on its own with well-crafted suspense and fascinating survival detail. . . . [M]iddle-grade readers will also relish the physicality of the journey: underwater swims, tight passages, and rock climbing. . . . [An] appealing and easy-to-booktalk package."—Booklist
"Wilson sets the scene vividly, from Tom's home to the labyrinth of tunnels and caverns under the mountain, and the central characters' emotional lives develop both naturally and affectingly. [Readers] will appreciate both the fast-paced adventure and Tom's determination to make the impossible journey back home."—The Horn Book Magazine
"Wilson's rich imagination and his quirky characters are a true delight."—School Library Journal