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by N.D. Wilson

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: May 22nd, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-83873-6
Publisher: Random House

Eleven-year-old Tom Hammond is not happy with his mother’s choice of a possible future fiancé; Mr. Veatch is not only a teacher, but he’s pretty gross. One night, Tom just wants to get away from the house and his mother for awhile, but he ends up stuck in an underground cave with a dead man and an injured dog. Using the dead man’s headlamp, Tom looks for a way out and ends up finding history, personal and national. Meanwhile, Elizabeth, his mother, is certain her son is alive. She tries to get help, but the only people willing to “help” are unscrupulous treasure seekers. Tom not only escapes the caves with the dog and a new friend, he also helps to save his mother from Mr. Veatch and the treasure hunters. 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. While not the best option for reluctant readers, this is still a strong choice for every type of library. (Fiction 10-14)