Cave City, Kentucky, 1925. Young Arly Dunbar loves exploring caves with his grown-up friend Floyd Collins. When Floyd, exploring by himself, becomes trapped in Sand Cave, the entire town comes to the rescue. Can Arly find a way to help his friend?
About the Author
Candice Ransom is the author of more than 120 books for children. Her books have won several awards and have been nominated to many state lists, including the William Allen White Award and the Texas Bluebonnet Award. She holds an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College and an MA in children's literature from Hollins University. She currently teaches at Hollins University, in the MA/MFA graduate program in children's literature. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia with her husband, Frank, and their cat, Winchester.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It was February, 1923 when ten-year-old Arly Dunbar peeked around a boulder trying to get a look into the cave that Floyd Collins was trapped in. Several National Guard troops were guarding the entrance and bluntly told him to leave. Cave City, Kentucky was a place where Floyd could often be found exploring caves. Arly's cousin, Russell, who was now on the rescue team, had once taken him into Crystal Cave where Floyd showed them around and gave Arly a "rock crystal shaped like a flower." It was then that Arly knew he would be a cave explorer. Russell told Arly that "We know where he is. But he's pinned down. We just can't get him out." The next day Russell was able to get down in Sand Cave to bring Floyd water and biscuits and a bit of reassurance, but the situation looked dire. As Russell left the cave a rumble could be heard. RRUUUMMMBLE! Arly was startled and ran forward once again to ask if Floyd was going to survive. Even Russell wasn't as sure any more because there had been a rock slide. When he tried to dig it was "like digging in a barrel of apples . . . if you dig out one rock 50 more fall into its place." They had to dig a shaft next to the tunnel and Arly was going to do his part. He began to work serving the men coffee, removing their boots, and trying to do help with anything they needed, but was there something he could do to help Floyd? It had been nine days, but would Arly himself survive if he went into the cave? This is an exciting story about Arly Dunbar, a young cave explorer, who wanted to help a trapped man. Arly's story is fictionalized, but the story of Floyd Collins, the "Greatest Cave Explorer Ever Known," was unfortunately true. In the back of the book his plight in Sand Cave and the history of Mammoth Cave National Park is briefly discussed. Arly's role in the story was realistic and I could feel the tension rise as he risked his life to aid in the rescue. Set in a graphic novel format, the artwork was bold, very well executed, and added greatly to the excitement of the story. This is one is a series of History's Kid Heroes that depict the roles of heroic young people during important American events. I've read several in the series, a series that would undoubtedly captivate the reluctant reader. In the back of the book are additional recommended book and website resources to explore. This book courtesy of the publisher.