Treasure hunting can be fun, yet there is an aspect of avarice that often creates a dangerous situation. When the treasure involved belongs to the first one who finds it, and the amount is quite generous, the fun suddenly dissolves as baser instincts take over.
In Alexis Tappendorf, and the Search for Beale’s Treasure by Becca C. Smith, Alexis is unhappy and afraid for her parents. They are on a secret job that could well be dangerous. Money is tight and jobs are scarce, so they take their daughter Alexis to stay with Great Aunt Mae.
Alexis wants none of it, but she has no choice. Her parents are the greatest, and she is worried. They assure her all is well and that she will enjoy her visit with Aunt Mae. When they arrive, true to their word she loves Aunt Mae. But even better Aunt Mae has friends who have a daughter her own age. After their very first meeting, Alexis knows they will be the best of friends. They both love adventure, and Aunt Mae is the same.
Reluctant to stay, she is nonetheless intrigued about Beale’s treasure, which is being actively being sought by many of the locals. She loves cyphers, so knows that she and her new friend Olivia will be the ones to break the code and find the treasure. It is more important to them than anyone else. Olivia’s father needs heart surgery, which they cannot afford, and Alexis is left in fear whenever her parents have to leave for such dangerous work. If they can just find the treasure, their parents will never have to work again, and Olivia’s father can have his surgery.
But there is a dark secret in town. Someone is willing to kill for the treasure. Can Alexis and Olivia find the treasure without alerting those who are trying to stop the searches? Does the treasure truly exist?
Smith has given us characters that are warm and fuzzy. The wonderful contrast between the good and the bad is not just about evil but about heart. Mae is an exceptional character, as are Olivia’s parents. You find yourself drawn to them and their warmth. Alexis and Olivia are like many young girls, both mischievous and caring. The story behind the treasure will keep you captivated and you will enjoy the adventures and dangerous situations that Alexis and Olivia find themselves in.
This is a great story for the young adult reader and for those who enjoy treasure and adventure. The mystery of the treasure and the danger behind Alexis’s parent’s job keep you searching the pages for clues. There is a great deal to discuss in this story making it a great find for a reading group. The interactions are well written, and the adventure is strong.