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Thunder Cave in the News  .  .  .  

Thunder Cave – Retold    

Article printed in the December 16, 2001 issue of the Davis County Clipper
(Articles dated 2001 are not currently in ClipperToday online archives)
Used by permission.

CENTERVILLE — Years of sustained effort finally bear fruit as local author Denise G. Jones proudly displays a copy of her newly published Millennium Edition™ of Jeremiah Stokes’ Thunder Cave illustrated by Jack Sears. Jones is the recipient of a 1999 Award of Merit from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Thunder Cave, a story loved by generations of children, had been out-of-print for over 50 years.

“Most people don’t know that there were two editions of Thunder Cave,” Jones says. “The first was published in 1932, with a revised edition in 1945.” The earlier edition was part of her cherished childhood memories. While reading her mother’s crumbling copy to her own children for the first time, Jones realized that further revisions would be needed for this fine story to meet the standards of a rapidly changing world. She also recognized its timeless quality and felt a great desire to share the story with the children of the 21st century.

After careful study of Jeremiah Stokes’ writings and style, Jones set out to combine the best of both editions, rewriting whenever necessary. A major consideration in the retelling was a deep respect for diverse peoples and cultures. Changes also include a more solid plot, character development, and faster-paced action. Using a sixth grader as one of her proof-readers enabled Jones to make the dialect more readable. All changes were accomplished without the reader’s awareness of anything but a smoother-flowing story.

The result was worth her efforts! Printed in large type and “bound to last,” this modern version is “listener-and-reader-friendly for today’s kids, yet maintains the flavor and integrity of Jeremiah Stokes’ original work.” Enthusiastic, Jones describes Thunder Cave as “full of hair-rasing adventure, with a touch of mystery and magic. It is not only a tale of danger and discovery, but also a fun way to teach children values, as they - with the two hardy young heroes - learn that help comes in unexpected ways and that the key to the Basement of the Mountain lies deep within themselves.”

“Children today need books like Thunder Cave that show them they can survive in troubled times, and that help them transcend global and individual human differences,” Jones says.

Further information can be found at the Kitkooh Publications web site: (previously Added to the book is a six-page “Biographical Note” on Utahns Jeremiah Stokes and Jack Sears. Stokes was a lawyer, author, and “master storyteller,” educated for a time at BYU. Sears, a nationally-acclaimed “cartoonist” who worked for the Desert News and Salt Lake Tribune, “founded the commercial art department at the U of U” while on the faculty there. Research for the “Biographical Note” included information contributed by relatives of both Stokes and Sears. Jones is a resident of Centerville, Utah.

— December 16, 2001, Davis County Clipper


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