The Cave of Secrets by Morgan Llewellyn is a story about Tom Flynn, the rejected son of an indebted land owner. One day, running from his father’s temper, he stumbles across a cave in Roaring Water Bay and there he meets Donal, who is different to Tom in every way. While Tom has been raised in a big house without any friends, forbidden to go to the bay for fear of “savages” and learnt only about England, Donal has been raised with the sea at his fingertips, part of a large family and has spoken Irish since he was born. The two strike up the most unlikely of friendships, and soon Tom finds a world he never knew, right outside his doorstep.

Tom also meets Donal’s little sister, who, much to Tom’s amusement, insists upon calling him Tomflynn. But while Tom is having the best summer of his life, things are not going as well for his family. His eldest sister has been forced into an arranged marriage and his father is in dire money straits. As Tom’s father wanders the streets of Dublin, Tom is helping Donal and his family to smuggle goods into Ireland. But Tom’s peaceful life is about to change. Civil unrest is starting to rise against the King of England. And life isn’t all black and white, as Tom is about to find out.

The Cave of Secrets is a poignant tale of growing up in 17th century Ireland. I enjoyed the story because it was well written and interesting. I also liked how the viewpoint of the story changed characters a few times. It was mostly told from Tom’s point of view but was also told from his sister’s and father’s point of view as well. I would definitely recommend this book to other people.

By Evelyn, Rang VI, Ransboro NS, Sligo

This story is about Tom, a thirteen year-old boy. His father has had huge losses in business; his mother is always sad. He finds a secret second family among the smugglers who trade in and around Roaring Water Bay where he grew up. You can relate to the characters in this story and empathise with their struggles. This book gives you an insight into 17th century Ireland. A wonderful tale about smugglers, boats, caves and treasure, a real page-turner which captures the imagination. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good adventure story. I give this an eight out of ten.

By Silvio, Rang VI, Ransboro NS, Sligo