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Miles and the Moon Cave by H.H. Hauser

Miles and the Moon Cave

H.H. Hauser

The son of a wealthy miner, Miles Dobbs lives a life under the rule of his new stepmother. He enjoys neither his father’s company nor the life he was accustomed too as he’s sent away to a dilapidated boarding school. His life is confined to an old broken-down school who caters very little to his love of exploration or his yearning of home. But Mile’s spirit is invigorated as he finds clues that his stepmother may have a sinister plan in the works.

My Rating:

Secret societies and nefarious stepmothers build mystery and intrigue in this grade-school, fantasy adventure novel by H.H. Hauser.

Miles Dobbs is a young boy who has recently been indentured at the chilly and rundown St. Bellmore’s School for boys at the request of his stepmother, whom he immediately dislikes. The only merits the school boasts is the deep friendship Miles develops with fellow student, Wyatt. As the weeks pass, and Miles receives no letters from his father, he begins to worry that something is amiss. H. H. Hauser makes quick work of setting up the scenario and catapulting any young, adventurous reader into the heart of the action. Miles and Wyatt work out a strategy to escape the school and get to the bottom of some tricky backstabbing. 

Miles and the Moon Cave contains all the tone of the Victorian era and steampunk mystery. 

Furthermore, it excels at dropping wholesome morals about equality and the treatment of others. By presenting small situations, peppered throughout the book, H.H. Hauser offers a multitude of examples of integrity children of any age would do well to learn. When Miles and Wyatt have a bit of a tiff, he struggles with being the first to apologize, even though he knows his father would advise him that the better person would not be so petty about their disagreement. Or when Miles arrives home and sees how abominably his stepmother treats the house staff, he immediately suggests that such actions are cruel and unnecessary. 

As the story progresses and Milo finds himself mistreated and disbelieved by adults time and time again, his innocence dissipates, leaving him feeling betrayed at the loss of his youth. Hauser smartly illustrates how sometimes children are forced to grow up long before they want to. In so doing, they often find their most significant strength lies within themselves, which allows the child to blossom with independent ideas and life skills. 

Mixing a touch of darkness that paints Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials with plenty of the whimsy and imagination of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Miles and the Moon Cave is a delightful treat filled with non-stop adventure and loads of heart. 

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