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Thunder Cave (Jacob Lansa #1)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  716 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Determined, after his mother's accidental death, to foil his stepfather's plans for his future, fourteen-year-old Jacob travels alone to Africa in search of his father, a biologist studying elephants in a remote area of Kenya.

Book Details: Format: Paperback Publication Date: 1/1/2000 Pages: 256 Reading Level: Age 1 and Up
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Disney-Hyperion (first published January 1st 1995)
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Jul 06, 2010 Monica rated it it was amazing
This book has the dumbest looking cover ever, hence the reason NONE of my students would read it last year. I even had a hard time starting it! But once I did, it was excellent. Jacob goes on a quest to Kenya in search of his zoologist father who is trying to save elephants from poaching. He is a smart but realistic main character who you really find yourself rooting for. The author offers great visual descriptions of the African landscape as well. If you like adventure novels, this one is for y ...more
May 06, 2015 Jayanna rated it it was amazing
When Mrs. Buchwald first showed me the book I didn't think I was going to like it. But when I read the first sentence I was automatically hooked. I read it in one day. I fell in love with all of Roland Smith. Thanks! Mrs. Buchwald
Ellis Stice
Mar 04, 2011 Ellis Stice rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2011 Annie rated it really liked it
A good adventure book!
Dec 08, 2009 Jan rated it liked it
Jacob's parents are divorced and he hasn't seen his dad for a couple of years, since his mom remarried. His dad writes often, though, from his research camp in Kenya where he studies elephant behavior. Jacob's life was pretty predictable until the day his mom was hit by a car. She died that night. Jacob's stepdad was offered a job in Honduras, and he doesn't want to be responsible for Jacob, so he plans to send him away -- not to his dad, but to relatives Jacob barely knows.

Jacob's opportunity t
Oct 07, 2012 Christy rated it really liked it
When Jacob fulfills a promise to his grandfather, Taw, and travels with him back to the Hopi reservation where he was born, he gets a lot more than a quiet trip to the desert. He quickly discovers that the Hopi on the reservation are divided over a lobo, a Mexican wolf, that people say is hunting on the reservation. There are some who want to kill the lobo, and others who...more When Jacob fulfills a promise to his grandfather, Taw, and travels with him back to the Hopi reservation where he was ...more
Joaquin Barboza
Sep 21, 2016 Joaquin Barboza rated it it was amazing
I give this book 5 stars because I really enjoyed reading this book. The book is about a fourteen year old boy named Jacob who is going to the African bush to find his father Dr. Robert Lansa. Along the way he meets a man named Supeet whom has a similar mission. I liked this book because I'm into adventure and this book gave me exactly what I was looking for. Rolland describes characters really well."You and I ( Jacob's Mom and Dad ) may not have been suited for one another, but we did manage to ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Janice rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
Jacob Lansa is about to go on the adventure of a lifetime. His mom passes away and his stepfather wants to ship him off to relatives he hardly knows. Jacob decides to find his father in Africa where he is studying elephants.

Jacob, who is half Hopi and all New Yorker, figures out how to get himself to Africa, but then has to find his father in the wild where a drought has decimated the area. Jacob has to navigate the language barrier, the poachers, and the country which is nothing like what he i
Will Sullivan
Jan 23, 2009 Will Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Thunder Cave by Roland Smith is an awesome book! It is filled with action and suspense, which I love. Thunder Cave is about a boy named Jacob Lansa who has just lost his mother in a running accident, and to make things worse, he has to live with his stepfather, Sam, that couldn't care less about him. His real father, Robert Lansa, is studying elephants in Kenya, which has just suffered a drought. So, Jacob decides to go to Kenya to find his father, but what he doesn't know is Kenya is filled wit ...more
Nina Cevallos
Jun 13, 2014 Nina Cevallos rated it did not like it
As I read Thunder Cave by Roland Smith, I felt feelings I had never experienced before. Dullness was one in this case. This novel has no creativity. A simple story about a boy visiting South Africa has no plot. I felt utter boredom. It has no details that help you visualize the story. The vocabulary is simple and it does not indulge you at all. Roland Smith wrote this book when he was in a state of dreariness. He needs to take classes on how to write properly.The book is lifeless and horrific. I ...more
May 20, 2008 Christina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: my-top-favorites
This book is definitely a good one. It was a book my local book chat picked out to discuss. A few days before the chat, I still hadn't read it, so I picked it up before I went to bed...and you can guess the rest. I couldn't put it down! From being robbed, to meeting a lion face to face, young Jacob Lansa is on the wildest adventure of his life. He sets out to find his father in Kenya and ends up helping a masai named Supeet, to bring the rains back to Kenya and save the great elephants from the ...more
Nov 03, 2009 Brandy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adult- boys especially
Shelves: young-adult
Another great novel by Roland Smith. He's such a great author- exciting, adventurous. He's the perfect young adult author. I liked the main characters- Jake and Supeet, especially Supeet, the Masai warrior. He has a great message for young people- simple living. The ending was a bit abrupt and left me feeling like the story was unfinished. Another book?

Also- love that Roland Smith creates scenes and circumstances that are believable. Jake in Kenya- gets mugged and beaten, almost eaten by lions.
Mar 06, 2014 Letizia rated it it was amazing
I just loved this book when I was a kid, and about a year ago I bought it in order to read it in english and - needless to say - again, I loved it. The protagonist is a kid so full of ideas, courage and - well - let's just say he knows how to survive, and I recall being fascinated about his abilities. And the african landscape, the search for elephants, basically everything kept me breathless and made me live the adventure along with the protagonist.
Also, it teaches a lot about the problems of A
Dec 07, 2015 Mckaela rated it really liked it
It was a good book. My favorite character is Jake. The cover looks super stupid but you can't judge a book by its cover cause it was a good book.
Jakes mother dies, and he he goes on a journey to find his real father (Robert Lanza). He meets a new friend named Supeet. Supeet helps Jake find his father while Jake helps Supeet do the rain ceremony. They encountered some poachers that hunt them down for Jakes fathers rare elephants.
Sep 14, 2009 Arthur rated it it was amazing
Thunder cave is an awesome book if you are into African animals.It takes a sad turn when the main character Jake finds that his mother dies in a car crash. Then he flees to Africa to find his father who is tracking elephants in the bush. The story has adventure as well as poachers,bandits and unlikely friends as Jake tries tofind his father and survive in the African bush.
Feras Naser
Nov 29, 2012 Feras Naser rated it it was amazing
It was a very good book every page had an adventure. I couldn't put the book down and I don't get into books very much but this book was very entertaining I had a very good time reading this book. It has adventure friendship action everything you want in a book this book has. You will be very impressed in this book you wont be able to put it down. Its one of my favorite book I have ever read.
Jan 04, 2009 Calli rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I liked Elephant Run better, but this one was very interesting as well. As Jacob sets off to search for his father (who is trying to protect a special group of elephants from poachers) in Kenya, he hooks up with a Masai named Supeet. Supeet teaches him a lot about how to look at things with new eyes.
Bob Large
Jan 17, 2016 Bob Large rated it it was amazing
Very exciting book about a young boy seeking his father in Africa. After his mother's tragic death, he heads to Africa to find his father. He gets mugged, shot at by poachers, survives a bush fire and illness, interacts with local natives and more. I often read this to my class at the end of the year. They love it.
Jul 10, 2016 Rebecca rated it liked it
Read this along with Savannah who is reading all this author's books. Keeping in mind that this is meant for kids, it was an enjoyable read and would be educational about poaching and the illegal ivory trade, etc. In fact it was a little heavy on the education for my taste.
Jun 17, 2008 Lauren rated it liked it
Recommended to Lauren by: melissa meyers
Shelves: fiction
i love finding good boy fiction. i can just picture my brother reading this book when he was younger and loving it. a great story about family and protecting endagered species and the culture of africa.
Andrew James
Jun 10, 2011 Andrew James rated it really liked it
The adevhture of a boy whose life is changed when he loses his mother (car accident), now tries to find his father in Africa.
Jacob Lansa, a 14 year old boy, tries to survive the wilderness along with the help of a Masai to reach his father. VERY EPIC
Corianne Rice
This is probably my favorite Roland Smith book. I love the adventure and have recommended it so many students. They are never disappointed! I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a good adventure book.
Steve Mickelson
Jul 06, 2012 Steve Mickelson rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much and read it with my boys as well. Jacob Lansa is a likeable character and Smith does a great job of putting the reader in Africa. Jacob's adventures are realistic and believable and Jake makes a great hero as he saves elephants and finds his dad.
Jan 25, 2015 Dustin rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-books
This is the second book I've read by Roland Smith. The first was Elephant Run. I didn't appreciate the use of a few expletives, so it would make it tough for me to recommend it to my younger students. However, a good story and a fun read.
Dec 05, 2011 Myka rated it really liked it
could have been better.
Tony Petry
Jul 27, 2009 Tony Petry rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this one down.
May 09, 2010 Lulu rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!
Kyle Larsen
Jun 03, 2015 Kyle Larsen rated it really liked it
This book taught me a lot about Africa and the issues happening there, the characters were interesting and the plot can really suck you in, the ending was very anticlimactic though.
Nov 29, 2009 Olivia is currently reading it
This book was an assignment to read. I guess it's ok, but not my favorite. I don't know if the other people this book was assigned to like it.
Feb 03, 2013 Lynda rated it it was amazing
Loved this book
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Roland Smith is an American author of young adult fiction as well as nonfiction books for children.
Smith was born in Portland, Oregon, and graduated from Portland State University and, following a part-time job at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, began a 20-year career as a zookeeper, both at the Oregon Zoo and the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington. After working to save wildlife following the E
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Jacob Lansa (3 books)
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