The Barker brothers (Jack, Henry and Simon, ages 6, 10 and 11) encounter new adventures on Superstition Mountain in this second page turner.
The action resumes two weeks after the first tale’s events (Missing on Superstition Mountain, 2011). After the boys’ friend Delilah, in a walking cast after her canyon fall, rejoins them after their grounding, they pore over the secret artifacts they’d brought down the mountain: a bag of old silver coins and a mysterious map. Among the coins, they discover a gold nugget, which stokes their shared curiosity about the legendary Lost Dutchman’s Mine and the colorful locals who once worked it—and those seemingly, mysteriously bent on its rediscovery. The children revisit the local library, explore an old ghost town and puzzle over the scanty but intriguing clues they assemble. When the boys’ vivacious, flighty Aunt Kathy arrives to mind them during their parents' anniversary getaway, the foursome mounts another clandestine foray into the foreboding mountain’s secret canyon to search for the mine. But someone—or something—seems equally intent on scaring them away. Impulsive young Jack provides believably humorous moments. Combining cliffhanging chapter ends, sinister messages, a creepy librarian, Henry’s thoughtful internal monologues and the danger of unsupervised adventures in the Arizona landscape, this is a worthy second in Broach’s appealing series.
Best enjoyed after the first, this absorbing, old-fashioned adventure will make readers eager for the next installment. (Mystery/adventure. 8-12)