HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Seven Treasure Hunts
Author: Betsy Byars
Illustrator: Jennifer Barrett
Publisher: HarperCollins, Reprinted 1992
Related website(s): http://www.troll.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 6 – 10
Rating: **** 4 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Byars, Betsy. The Seven Treasure Hunts (originally published 1991 in Cricket Magazine; republished in 1992 by Troll Associates, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, 10 E.53rd St., New York City, NY 10022). Jackson (Jackie) and his best friend, Goat MGee, decide one Saturday to hide treasures for each other to find with maps and clues. The first hunt is so much fun that the boys decide to do it all over again. Only the next hunts will be trickier, full of adventure and mischief, and the prizes will be outstanding, including chocolate popsicles. But everything goes wrong, and somehow, the best treasure of all disappears from its hiding place. Only one person could be responsible, and that is “the ogre,” also known as Goat’s older sister, Rachel. Did she really do something with it? Where might Goat’s sister hidden it? Can the two friends locate the treasure before the ogre gets the last laugh?
The Seven Treasure Hunts is a chapter book from Newbery Medal-winning author Betsy Byars. Some parents may not like the fact that words such as “stupid, idiot, and moron” are used and might become part of their children’s working vocabulary. However, nobody calls anybody else by these terms; Jackie just refers to himself in this way because of a silly mistake that he made. The story is not a typical mystery where the reader follows the clues to solve the case, nor are there any important underlying moral lessons. It’s just a fun tale that will be interesting to boys, in particular for children ages 6 to 8, who are ready to read independently but who are reluctant readers.