Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
The Headmaster’s Cave is a preteen and children’s adventure story written by D.S. Allen. George Stewart’s got a family history that his parents won’t talk about and that he’s been persecuted by his peers for. It concerns the legendary Headmaster’s Cave. According to the story, an unbalanced headmaster forced seven children to come with him to a cave by the sea. There he killed them all, and one was from George’s family. Supposedly, you can hear the cries of those children in the nearby forest and, if you get close enough to the cave, you can hear them screaming. No one’s been able to enter the cave as the police have barricaded it for safety reasons. George’s friend, Dougie, also lost a family member in the tragedy. When a mysterious email addressed to George and Dougie arrives in their school email accounts, promising answers to the mystery of the cave, Dougie seems intrigued. George and their friend Katie are not at all sure meeting up with a stranger is a good idea, but when they realize that Dougie must have gone on his own, they’re determined to help him out.
D.S. Allen’s preteen and children’s coming of age adventure novel, The Headmaster’s Cave, has everything needed to make this story fun, fast-paced and full of action. There’s the legend of the Headmaster and the missing schoolchildren, of course, but also tales of a pirate’s treasure cave linked to that gloomy cave. George and Katie brave a trip through haunted woods where a mysterious and ghostly white lady is supposed to appear, and find themselves oddly enough in the roles of Hansel and Gretel when they meet a very real older woman and her pack of protective dogs. Allen’s main characters – George, Katie and Dougie – are geeks who turn out to be consummate explorers, and it’s fabulous to see how they fare. The mysterious Leonard they meet is strange and spooky, and their exploration of the cavern systems is a grand adventure. I had a marvelous time reading The Headmaster’s Cave. It’s a fun and exciting read by an author who’s obviously not forgotten what it’s like to be young. The Headmaster’s Cave is most highly recommended.
Reviewed by D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review
“Book covers are not usually mentioned in the course of book review – not unless they are truly compelling, as is The Headmaster’s Cave, designed to capture young adult attention with the scene of a cave, a raging sea, and a boy hanging on to a cliff edge by his fingertips. One could not wish for a more persuasive reason to find out more; and once immersed in the events, The Headmaster’s Cave does not disappoint.
Over a hundred years ago, seven children and their headmaster vanished in the cave – including one of George’s ancestors; a fact that has haunted his family for generations. A mysterious email states that the mystery has been solved and invites George, Dougie and Katie to learn more – but only Dougie takes the bait; and when he, too, vanishes, it’s up to George and Katie to solve the mystery.
One couldn’t ask for better tension in a read recommended for advanced elementary through middle grade readers. There’s the influence of years of jokes and bullying among George’s peers concerning his family’s relationship with The Headmaster’s Cave; there’re minefields of danger involved in an escapade that involves George drawing on limited knowledge along the way (“He loved to watch wilderness television programmes and read survival books, so he searched through his memory banks on building fires.”), and there’s a host of difficult possibilities that must be examined and either accepted or discarded in the course of investigations (“What if he were telling the truth? His ancestor had been the killer. It would be unbearable if it was true. That the monster who had stalked his nightmares for so long belonged to his family?”).”
In the end the truth about The Headmaster’s Cave and the events surrounding it will come as a surprise – but not until chapters of thrilling adventures, self-examination, and challenging encounters spice a read designed to draw in even the more reluctant reader, providing a vivid story that explains some events but leaves the door open for further adventures. (D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review)
Go to Goodreads to see more: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23554998-the-headmaster-s-cave