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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Leepike Ridge, written by N. D, Wilson. Random House, 2007. $7.99 ages 10 and up

"The lamp hit Tom's hand and fell. He wasn't watching. He was staring at a place in the darkness that he knew was filled by a creature larger than he was. Without thinking, he pushed his legs back against the rock and jumped, the beginnings of a yell stifled in his throat. Reg was reaching out to catch the lamp, but Tom was coming right after it."

I'm not sure if the time change had me not sleeping well, or that I was reading a great book and didn't want to stop reading until I made myself stop two night in a row at 2:30 a.m. By then, I had finished Leepike Ridge and couldn't wait to share it.

One thing I know for sure now that I have read three of his books, N. D. Wilson is a writer. There were many places in this book that I reread for a turn of phrase, a lovely passage or that stopped me in my tracks. Here's just one of them:

"Tom had traveled around the sun eleven times when the delivery truck brought his mother's newest fridge, but a number doesn't really describe his age. His father had been gone three years, and that made him feel older. He was the sort of boy who had many friends when he was at school, but what they knew about him was limited to his freckles, brown hair, long arms, and the clenched determination that settled onto his face when he was angry or competing."

The action was so real there were times I had to stop and take a deep breath. My claustrophobia would kick in, and my heart would race trying to fathom doing what Tom and Reg did because they were trapped in the mountain. So descriptive and full of action, I just tore along from one chapter to the next, never asking where that chapter might end.

There is so much here for many different types of readers. I have told you about the action. The relationships are layered, the characters strong, the back story a mystery whose pieces just keep falling into place; and despite the dire circumstances, there is even occasional humor.

Tom doesn't like Jeffrey though he is his teacher and wants to be his Mom's new husband. Jeffrey is grating to Tom, and annoying to this reader. Tom is angry that his mom is even thinking about accepting Jeffrey's proposal and goes off in a pout. He rides a large piece of packing foam on the stream near his house...and disappears! What he finds when he finally stops rolling in the churning current is a big surprise...a lake, a corpse, a castaway, buried treasure and the way home. It is an exciting and memorable journey.

It is sure to earn N. D. Wilson new fans if they have not read any of his other books. Wow!

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