Life on Base: Quantico Cave by Thomas P. Wise & Nancy Wise (Review by #NerdGirlJulie)

Life on Base

Title: Life on Base: Quantico Cave

Author: Thomas P. Wise & Nancy Wise 

Published Date: December 22nd 2015

Genre: Fiction


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For Stephen, his life on base is much the same as most other children’s. The difference is in the details. Look both ways before crossing a tank path and be sure to check if the spent bullet casings you find in the long-abandoned trenches are actually empty. Sports stop at the sound of the evening trumpet call as he and his friends stand at attention while the flag is retired. Quantico Cave is a story of friendship and competition, and when Stephen meets up with a friend he once knew at a previous home station, the contest hits a whole new level that places everyone at risk.

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***#NerdGirlJulie’s  Review***
Life on Base: Quantico Cave by Tom Wise is perfect for all ages. It’s a story of life on a military base from the perspective of middle-school-aged children (primarily boys).

Having raised two boys, I really appreciated Wise’s portrayal of the boys (and one “tom-boy”). The scuffles, resolutions and friendship between adolescents are on target. Wise’s characters portray the usual cast of kids found in a neighborhood, a schoolyard or a military base: the bully, the honorable, mature kid, the runt, the wannabes.

I loved main character Stephen’s imagination/pretend play as well as the random ramblings of inner dialog. It brought back memories of days when you played with whomever was available in the neighborhood, and memories of having to entertain yourself without the assistance of a lot of electronic devices. Stephen and Jimmy’s wild imagination, enthusiasm and crazy dreams are endearing.

I’ve not lived on a military base, nor do I know anyone who has, so I found it fascinating to learn about life on base. I had no idea that the families’ social status mirrored military rank, nor did I know that socializing outside of rank was frowned upon. I did love that playing baseball became a common ground for the kids to mix and socialize. I am not unfamiliar with children’s woes of having to move frequently for a parent’s work, and I appreciated Wise’s representation of the fluidity and transience of a “military brat’s” life and relationships.

Stephen and his friends have loving, strong moms who are frequently parenting on their own when duty calls. I got a good sense of Stephen’s dad from Stephen’s frequent musings about his father. It was delightful to feel how much Stephen loved and respected his father.

Life on Base: Quantico Cave is entertaining and well written. Thomas Wise has deftly incorporated some good messages into the story as well. There are strong messages about family, respect, being a good friend, avoiding fighting, and conflict resolution between peers. The author’s respectful prologue about the military and life of military families sets the tone for this novel which is loosely based on the author’s own experiences.


***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site:***


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  • Kel

    sounds interesting….

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