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Smuggler's Cave
By author: Sonya Spreen Bates   Illustrated by: Kasia Charko
Selling Points: "boating, sea caves, teamwork"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Nov/01/2010
Lexile Level: 430L
Pages: 64
Fiction Ages 7-9
Price:  $6.95
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The boat was pushed closer to the cliff with each surge of the sea. Jake glanced back and saw the entrance to the cave a short distance away. Each time a wave hit, water rushed into the hole, like storm water down a drain. Then it was sucked out again as the wave receded.
   "Jake! Look out!" said Tommy, standing up and pointing.
   Jake saw the cliff loom up in front of him.
   "Hold on!" he shouted.

Jake and his younger brother Tommy are visiting family at a beach house on the coast. Having already lost a race to his cousin Lexie, Jake can't resist a second chance at victory when she challenges him again. Only this time it's a boat race-to the legendary Smuggler's Cave and back. The ocean is deep and choppy, and the boat is harder to control than Jake thought it would be. When he and Tommy reach Smuggler's Cave, the unthinkable happens. The boat capsizes, and they are swept into the cave. Lexie comes to their rescue, but the rising tide prevents them from escaping, and the three of them soon realize they are trapped.
BookLinx - January 30, 2012
"A high interest easy reader featuring an engaging trip...The characters are well drawn and interesting and resourceful...Pirates, shipwreck, waves and danger add to the excitement."
Library Media Connection - March 1, 2011
"The brisk pace may attract reluctant readers, and the suspense level is appropriate for the target audience."
Buzz Words Books blog - January 26, 2011
"Bates has the wonderful knack of immediately establishing character relationships…The plot moves quickly with plenty of twists and turns. The style of language used is perfect for early readers but the book never plods and nor are young readers written down to…The dialogue is realistic and snappy contributing to the fast pace of the story."
Resource Links - December 1, 2010
"Bates does an excellent job of writing a fast-paced story for the early chapter book genre. Reading a section that takes place in the cave aloud to students would certainly pique their interest."
CM Magazine - September 24, 2010
"Jake, Tommy and Lexie are engaging characters, and the addition of a female protagonist widens the appeal of this already captivating novel…This book would be thoroughly enjoyed by any child interested in classic adventure stories with resourceful characters…Recommended."


South Australia Premier's Reading Challenge Booklist, commended  CA  2011


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Key Features:
Lively stories
Entertaining characters
Age-appropriate plots
Ideal for Lit Circles
Ideal for Independent Reading
Ideal for social responsibility programs

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' Guides
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Curriculum Connections
Guided Reading Levels
Accelerated Reader
Lexile levels

Paperback $6.95
15 b&w illustrations
64 pages

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