'Just enough surprise, lots of action, extensive lively dialogue, and a combination of compelling plot points make this an enjoyable and lively read for youngsters.'
'A genuinely suspenseful transitional chapter book that will appeal to those readers who love to be scared.'
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media
Jake and his younger brother Tommy are on their first camping trip. While exploring in the woods on Marsh Island, they lose their way. When the boys start to feel like they're not the only ones wandering in the woods, they wonder if the story their dad told them about old Alfred Marsh and his lost fortune is true.
Resource Link's 'The Year's Best' 2009 - commended
Jake and his younger brother Tommy are visiting family at a beach house on the coast. Having lost a race to his cousin Lexie, Jake can't resist a chance at victory when she challenges him again. Only this time it's a boat race - to 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 and they get swept into the cave.
'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.'
'Bates has crafted a gripping adventure that will definitely pique and keep the interest of both boys and girls. Her prose...will keep children's adrenaline pumping...There are few true adventure books aimed at the early chapter book crowd, and this one proves to be a must have for all collections.'
'A suspenseful book with surprises in every chapter. It is fast-paced and an enjoyable read.'
NMRLS Youth Services Book Review
For their last run of the day, Jake, Tommy and Lexie set out to ski down Easy Street. But when Lexie and Jake convince Tommy to try Wildcat Run instead, the young skiers encounter more than they expected. Will they be rescued, or will they have to spend the night alone in cougar country?
All books in the series available from:
South Australia Premier's Reading Challenge Booklist 2011
Jake and his younger brother Tommy are visiting their grandparents' farm, Thunder Creek Ranch. It isn't long before Jake meets Cory McNash, a city kid who thinks he's really tough. When a cow chases Tommy over the creek and into the woods, Jake and Cory follow him, unaware that a storm is coming. Soon the creek becomes a raging torrent, too dangerous for the boys to cross safely. How will they get back home?
'A fun, easy-to-read addition to Sonya Spreen Bates' series about the brothers Jake and Tommy. With constant action, interesting settings, and character relationships that are true to real life, this is a good choice for those looking for a realistic adventure story.'
'Has characters that are believable and easy to relate to...This book would appeal to young readers who enjoy adventure and ranch life.'
Resource Links 'The Year's Best' 2013 commended