Title: Secret in the Old MansionSecret in the Old Mansion
Author: Stephen Mooser
Illustrator: Leslie Morrell
Pages: 96
Reading Level: 9-12
Star Rating: ★★★

A random children’s story.

The Story.

Alkali, Rose, and Stanley all love to read about treasure hunts. And they’ve gone on a few themselves – if combing the local beach with a metal detector counts as treasure-hunting. All in all, they think they’re qualified to start their own treasure-searching agency!

Although they get many calls (mostly from people who have lost ordinary things like dogs), only one stands out as being worth their while. And that is the call they get from the niece and nephew of the late eccentric, Henrietta Flopbottom.

Can the Treasure Hounds find Henrietta’s fortune in her creepy old mansion?

Discussion.

The kids themselves are fairly well behaved. Stanley is a bit of a pansy which makes the intense scenes comical. It’s the adults they’re working for who have the most problems.

Horace and Mildred are siblings and both stand to profit if they find the treasure. However, they are both selfish and have zero trust in each other. (Knowing each other as well as they do, they find it easy to believe that their sibling would try to cheat them out of their fair share.) As the story progresses, though, they become more bonded together over the search and in the end are on agreeable terms.

The only truly weird happening occurs at the end of Chapter 3. A skeleton appears and speaks to Horace and Stanley. The skeleton is immediately discovered to be fake (and the voice human), but an illustration is included of it.

‘Gee’ and ‘golly’ are each used once.

Conclusion. An okay story. Not at all brainy, but also not too weird.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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