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4.7 out of 5 stars
Thunder Cave
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This story is the best yet of Roland Smith. If you like any of his other books this one you will love. It has the same theme of his Crypid hunter book at the begging of it. Anyway the story starts out in Nww York CIty. Jacob comes home from a regular day of school. He thens gets a message that his mom has been hit by a car. She ends up dying in intensive care. They have a funeral for her in a small chapel. Jacob try to get of Robet Lansa, known as Dr. Lansa, also Jacobs dad. He cant get a hold of him. His dad is a field bioligist in Kenya. Sam has got a new job and has decided that Jacob has to move with his aunt and uncle. Jacob dosent does like that and decides to move with Kenya with his dad. His dad dosent even know that. Jacob gathers his supplies and goes to talk to Taw, his uncle. Taw gives Jacob some avise and an amulet. When he gets to Kenya and goes through customs he finds out he can t keep his food. He hes is going into Kenya with no food while theres a drought. So he leaves the the airport and gets a hotel. The next day he goes and gets some food. Someone steals his bike and he follows them and gets beaten up and his food gets stolen. He goes to the hotel and gets a good nights rest. The next day he goes and finds his bike and steals it back. The next day he heads into Kenya. He faces many problems along the plain, like meating a lion face to face and facing dehydration. After almost dying of dehydration he meats a man named Supeet. He learns a lot from Supeet. They then learn how to perform a rain ceromony. They then peform it in Thunder Cave. Jacob gets captured by poachers.

This is the best book ive ever read!!!

Read it youll love it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Jacob's parents are divorced and he hasn't seen his dad for a couple of years, since his mom remarried. His dad writes often, though, from his research camp in Kenya where he studies elephant behavior. Jacob's life was pretty predictable until the day his mom was hit by a car. She died that night. Jacob's stepdad was offered a job in Honduras, and he doesn't want to be responsible for Jacob, so he plans to send him away -- not to his dad, but to relatives Jacob barely knows.

Jacob's opportunity to change his living arrangements comes the next day when his stepdad leaves for a business meeting out of town. Jacob already has a passport. He withdraws all his money from his bank (will a bank allow a kid to withdraw hundreds of dollars?) and pawns his mother's diamond rings. (Will a pawnshop transact business with a minor?) With the money, he buys a plane ticket to Nairobi that leaves in two days. (Will a travel agent sell a ticket to a third world country to an unaccompanied minor?) Then Jacob goes to the Kenyan Embassy and convinces them to give him a visa immediately. (Hmmm. This one is the hardest to believe. Visas take time and political pull. No one can walk in to the embassy and walk out with a visa. You have to apply, and then wait, sometimes as much as 6 months.) Since he will be biking across Kenya, Jacob packs his camping gear, and has the airline load his bike with the luggage.

Jacob was in Nairobi less than a day when his bike was stolen and he was beaten up. From this point on, the story is an exciting "My Side of the Mountain" adventure, with interesting face-to-face meetings with wild animals and even ivory poachers. There is drought and danger at every turn as Jacob pushes into the wild, parched country to find his father.

I understand that the author had to figure out a way to get the boy into Africa unaccompanied, but it was difficult for me to believe that it could have happened this way. On the other hand, children are less informed about the ins and outs of international travel, and will probably go right along with the possibilities here.

Boys in 4th to 8th grade who like danger and adventure will love this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
The whole story is an adventure, its fun, interesting and realistic. I recommend this book to anyone who can read. Believe me, you won't be able to put the book down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Have you ever been to the African bush? If you have I bet you wouldn't have this full-sized adventure. Thunder Cave is an exciting realistic fiction by Ronald Smith. On the way lots of exhilarating things happen to him. On his journey he found: Supeet the Masai, Sitonik the Laibon and some poachers.
After his mom died, Jacob lives with his step-father, who doesn't care about Jacobs real dad. However, Jacob can't live without telling his real dad that his mum has died. When his step-father leaves town he goes to a travel agent and books a flight to Nairobi. His step-father came back earlier than expected, so it was harder for Jacob to escape, but he managed it.
One day when he was travelling down a long dusty roadside he saw a boy holding a spear, that boy was called Supeet who came from a Masai tribe. Later Supeet took Jacob to the Masai camp where they met Sitonik a Laibon. Like all Laibons, he had magic powers and could see into the future. Sitonik said that Supeet will end this drought and Jacob will have a hard journey. He then said, "Take these drums and go to Thunder Cave".
Supeet and Jacob headed for Thunder Cave. Later they interfered with some poachers. Jacob was shot in the stomach by a bullet and Supeet went temporarily blind after a spitting cobra caught him with his venom. Jacob and Supeet then headed for thunder cave and when they got there Supeet started to tap a rhythm on the drums. Whilst Supeet was drumming, Jacob went out in search of food. Soon the poachers captured Jacob...
I liked this book because Mr. Smith kept the action vivid until the very end of the story, making it very intense and exciting to read. He managed to create a cliff-hanger at the end of each and every chapter, which made a truly great book. Jacob found more than just his father in the Kenyan bush, that's why it was so hard to put down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
What would you do if your mom died, and your Dad did not even know about it? Then your step Dad was going to send you away to your closest relatives really far away. Thunder Cave is the first book in a three book series, about a young teenager who was in a similar situation. The boy had a lot of courage, love and friendship that was beautifully written by Ronald Smith.

Thunder Cave is an emotional book about a boy named Jacob Lansa who is14 years old and from New York. His parents are separated and he lives with his Mom and her husband, Sam. His Dad is in Kenya helping the elephants survive the major drought. After his mother dies from a car accident Jacob has nowhere else to go because Sam is leaving. Sam tries to send Jacob to Nebraska to his closest relatives. But Jacob decided he wanted to be with his Dad. His Dad couldn't be reached, so he went on a courageous journey to Kenya on his own. He went through tough times. He got mugged, he runs low on money and he almost dies. But all of a sudden a remarkable friend came along and helped him. His friend was like rope that he held on to forever. Together they encountered elephant poachers who wanted to kill them. They also had to perform a rain dance to make it rain because of the drought.

Thunder Cave is one of the best books I have ever read. I liked it because no matter what happened to Jake he never gave up. I would recommend it to anybody who likes action and adventure books because it takes Jacob on an adventure that he and you will never forget.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
I met the author, Roland Smith, when he visited my elementary school years ago, and he made such an impact on me that I have never forgotten him or this book. I have re-read it at least half a dozen times, and the imagery and fantastic plot and message make this one of my all-time favorite books from my childhood. The great thing is that he really knows his stuff- he's worked with animals for years and traveled around the world, so his stories have an authentic feel rather than I'm-pretending-to-know-what-I'm-talking-about-but-really-don't. I would easily recommend this to any kid interested in a well written adventure and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book was action packed from begining to end. I reccomend this to ages 10-13
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Have you ever lost a loved one? If so, then you know what Jacob Lansa feels like after his mom is hit by a car.After her funeral, Jacob makes plans to go to Kenya, where his father works as a field biologist. Once there, Jacob is robbed, beaten, nearly burned to death and captured by poachers as he tries with a Maasai man named Supeet to try and stop the drought and save the elephants. An overall good book, with a 1st person viewpoint. I enjoyed it,but, I think the reading level should at least be a 6.0.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
Excellent and exciting adventure story about 14 year old boy who journeys to Africa in search of his father, a wildlife biologist studying elephants in Kenya.
Easy to read, fast paced, more oriented to conditions in Africa than to elephants specifically, it nevertheless gives considerable attention to the plight of elephants with respect to poaching.
Cover recommends ages 10 and up. Quite suitable for adult reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
I am shocked on how the book comes together.It has lots of exciting moments and surprises. The level of this book is for 5-8 grade.The most intersting part of the book is when he goes out to see his dad in Kenya. I think that the saddest part of the book is when Jake's Mom is in the Hospital because of an accident.I hope you enjoy this book and that you will give it a great of five stars.
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