The used book gods were smiling on me last weekend. Somehow, a copy of Leepike Ridge ended up in the Barnes & Noble bargain room for three dollars. I scarfed it up and read it in two sittings that would have been one sitting if people around here hadn’t started getting hungry on Sunday. It was that good.
I read a review (I think it might have been from Fuse #8, but I’m too lazy to go hunting for it right now) that made comparisons between this book and Louis Sachar’s Holes. This kind of comparison always makes me skeptical. “We’ll just see about that,” I thought. I read it. I saw. And I get it now. This one is worthy of that comparison — and then some.
Leepike Ridge is a book for every kid (and every grown kid) who played in refrigerator boxes, caught critters in the woods, and floated down creeks on homemade rafts. It’s a fantastic story with a grand adventure, a heroic boy, bad guys that you love to hate, a loyal dog, and a hidden treasure. The fact that it’s beautifully written with magical, transporting descriptions is gravy.
If you know and like a boy between the ages of, let’s say 9 and 13, you really ought to pick up Leepike Ridge for him this holiday season.