Eleven-year-old Thomas Hammond has always lived next to Leepike Ridge. He never imagined he might end up lost beneath it!
But thats exactly what happens the night Toms schoolteacher comes to dinner and asks Toms mother to marry him. Angry and embarrassed, Tom slips out of the house and escapes down a nearby stream on a floating slab of refrigerator packing foam. The night and stars lull Tom to sleep, and when he wakes, he finds he has ridden his foam raft all the way to the ridge itselfwhere the stream dives underground! Pulled down with it, Tom is flung over rapids and tossed through chasms until finally, miraculously, he comes to rest, sore but alive. What Tom finds under Leepike Ridgea corpse, a dog, a flashlight, a cast-away, crawdads, four graves, a tomb, and buried treasurewill answer questions he hadnt known to ask and change his life forever. Now if only he can find his way home again...
An original mix of Robinson Crusoe, King Solomons Mines, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Odyssey, N.D. Wilsons first book for young readers is a remarkable adventure, a journey through the dark of the grave and back out into the light. Ages 812. Available in hardcover. Published by Random House.
"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."
"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."
"There are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep both seasoned and reluctant readers turning the pages. Think Mark Twain with a contemporary and utterly captivating twist."
School Library Journal
"Not a tall tale exactly, and certainly not an epic (though there are playful allustions to the Odyssey), but something closer to a yarn, cross-bred with the boys' adventure stories that once sold like hotcakes and recounted by a narrator who is slyly funny as well as omniscient."
Leepike Ridge was Books & Culture's Book of the Week! Click here to read their review.