BEYOND THE REEF by Todd Strasser


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Teen-ager Chris Cooper learns that there is a pot of gold at rainbow's end--but also that it's a rough road getting there. Chris and his parents, Ann and Ted, leave a settled life in Flintville, N.Y., when Ted catches the gold bug and sets himself up in Key West as a treasure hunter. He perseveres despite long odds, local hostility, mischance, vandalism, money problems and--worst--the tease of infrequent, small finds (Strasser draws a parallel between Ted's obsession and compulsive gambling). Eventually, Ann returns in disgust to her newspaper job in Flintville, but Chris stays on. After the death of a diver and the loss of several boats, Ted finally finds a treasure-filled 17th-century hulk. Strasser writes convincingly of treasure-hunters' techniques, months spent poring over old Spanish documents, and years of digging in empty sand while nursing flail equipment. Chris frets about his parents, observes tensions, and shares work, joy, and danger with his father--and with Shannon, classmate and good friend. Mel Fisher's recent Search for the Atocha Treasure tells a similar, tree story; here, the dangers and rewards of the hunt are engagingly re-created.

Pub Date: Sept. 5th, 1989
Page count: 246pp
Publisher: Delacorte