When World War I began, Arthur Pratt did what many other Americans did, joining a foreign army to fight while the United States was still trying to avoid entering the conflict. He was reportedly killed in action, though no body was ever recovered, and his surviving family had only letters and photos from the war to remember him by. Eighty years later, Arthur?s great-great-grandson Ian is fascinated by the war he?s learned about from his family scrapbooks. He wants to be adventurous and brave just like Arthur, which for Ian means testing his mettle against the spooky Butterfield Ranch and a mysterious nearby cave. When weird things begin happening around him, Ian realizes he?s being called upon to solve a mystery?but doing so will require venturing into the cave. What he discovers there is more magical?and more dangerous?than he ever imagined, leading the boy to a revelation that will change his life forever. The Cave is a haunting, touching novel, sure to enchant young-adult readers.
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Ian Pratt loves learning about World War I and is proud that his great-great-grandfather fought in that war, even if he did lose his life in it. He shares those memories with his great-grandfather who lives with his family. He is determined to be brave like his ancestor. He has two goals in his young life to prove his bravery. The first is to find out what is in the old Butterfield Ranch and the second is to actually go into “The Cave”. Many times he has ridden past it but has never had the courage to enter. After a ghostly face enters his room and he sees the face again at the old Butterfield place, Ian decides to gather up his courage and enter the cave. Upon doing so he is thrust into another world. Missing for several hours he wakes up inside the old Butterfield house and walks home. Unable to shake the feeling that he needs to go back, he share the ghostly tale with his friend who agrees to go to the cave with him to see for himself. They find themselves in another world and Ian finds the reason he has been brought there. He must ask himself if he is brave enough to carry out this mission. I loved the book. It is great for middle school students who love a good mystery. The character’s were well developed. This was more of a plot driven book though. The more you thought you had this figured out the more twists were applied. This will be a good one to share with my students.