What kid doesn’t dream of swashbuckling adventures in faraway places, freed from the strictures of parents, school, siblings and caregivers? Tom Trelawney gets to experience a real adventure in this rollicking tale, but it may just be more than he bargained for.
It all starts when Tom nearly ruins his parents’ vacation by accidentally burning down the shed in his backyard. He didn’t mean to cause problems; he was just bored. When no one will take care of him as a result, his father is desperate enough to call on Uncle Harvey to “babysit” for a week. Harvey welcomes Tom into his New York City apartment, but as soon as Tom’s parents leave, he starts packing for Peru, intending to leave Tom on his own. When he tells Tom it’s because he has an opportunity to hunt for pirate treasure, Tom blackmails his uncle into taking him along as an assistant. He’s looking forward to a treasure hunt, but he is totally unprepared when met at the airport by Peru’s most dangerous and notorious gangster. Uncle Harvey hasn’t been exactly honest with Tom (or, apparently, with anyone else) and now must face the consequences. And this is just the beginning. Tom's voice carries a little bit of his British father's inflection, and it moves the story along capably, taking readers from adventure to adventure with aplomb.
An enjoyable escapade, delivered with wit, wisdom and just a bit of history thrown in for good measure. (Adventure. 9-12)