From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7-It is Lauchie and Angus's first season working lobster off the coast of Cape Breton, and for Lauchie, whose father died at sea, it has taken a great deal of talking to convince his mother to let him go. The boys look forward to the work and experience, but they get more of both than they anticipated. Lauchie finds a strange sealed crock in a day's catch, and when he and Angus open it, they discover a letter written by a shipwrecked doctor in 1632, along with a treasure map. Needless to say, the friends become obsessed with the idea of finding the treasure, even if it means they have to ask their hockey arch rival, Moose, for help in researching Micmac legend and language. The outcome of their pursuits, regardless of a few life-threatening moments, is not a surprise; however, the journey is fast paced enough to keep it interesting. The fishing terminology and Cape Bretonisms may leave some kids high and dry, but generally the story carries itself. Fans of Avi's Windcatcher (Bradbury, 1991), Will Hobbs's Ghost Canoe (Morrow, 1997), and Gordon Korman's "Dive" trilogy (Scholastic, 2003) will enjoy this adventure.Laura Reed, Kitchener Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 6-8. Lauchie and his friends spend their time exploring the coastline of their home on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. When Lauchie discovers a flintlock pistol and a letter written in 1632, complete with references to hidden gold coins, the treasure hunt is on. The search leads Lauchie and his friend Angus to a hitherto undiscovered cave, where the collapse of part of the cave wall nearly traps them inside. Ashby elevates what could have been a conventional treasure-hunt story. However, with evocative descriptions of Cape Breton Island and the lives of its residents, Ashby gives readers a deep sense of the smells, sounds, and sights of the shore and sea while capturing the speech patterns and deep bonds within the close-knit community. Middle-school readers will enjoy the personal stories and rich setting just as much as the basic adventure. Todd MorningCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved