Review Blog

Feb 20 2011

Smuggler's Cave by Sonya Spreen Bates

cover image

(Orca Echoes). Orca, 2010. ISBN: 9781554693085.
When cousins Jake and Lexie race and Jake loses, it is impossible for Jake not to take up the challenge of a second event. This time, however, the race is to be by boat to Smuggler's Cave and back. Because Jake can't leave his younger brother, Tommy alone, the two participate together. Things go wrong and the boat ends up in the cave with the water level rising. Stories about the cave make the children uneasy and add to the adventure.
As a simple adventure tale, Smuggler's Cave will probably appeal most to the emergent reader or the middle primary reluctant reader. With only minimal pages in the book and fourteen of those being illustrations, this is an easy and quick read, accessible to both male and female readers as the protagonists are also of both sexes. These illustrations are useful to the reader as they support the text without being so busy that they would detract from the child's concentration levels. The theme of competition between boys and girls in the story would be familiar to the young readers, possibly adding to the interest level.
Jo Schenkel

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