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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"The brisk pace may attract reluctant readers, and the suspense level is appropriate for the target audience."