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The Last Treasure Hardcover – April 14, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1st edition (April 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525469192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525469193
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,645,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9-Since his death in 1881, the spirit of John Matthew Smith, once a wealthy patriarch, has been taking an annual walk around the Square of homes he built for his large family. He has whipped up whirlwinds, even downing an oak, in an effort to get his many descendants to patch up quarrels, reunite, and introduce the youngest branches of the family tree to one another. He had hidden three treasures, two of which were found by the family when desperately needed. Now it is time for the youngest relatives to find the third. Sending dreams to two Smith teens who have never met, he ensures their return to Smiths Mills. Facing a counterpane of mystery, mechanically minded Ellsworth and angry Jess must join forces to figure out the family dynamics and the meaning of the treasure clues. Anderson excels in her realization of the detailed setting, which is absolutely necessary for the success of the plot. In Ellsworth, she has created a fully rounded and appealing character who has never been told why his father cut off all ties with his relatives years earlier. With a touch of the family eccentricity of The Monkey Tree (Dutton, 1998) and a bit of the fantasy of Going through the Gate (Puffin, 2000), Anderson has conjured up a fascinating read for puzzle lovers while sandwiching in an important message about intergenerational relationships.
Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-7. Although this perceptive tale of two teenagers helping to reunite a family lacks the brilliant fantasy elements of Anderson's Going through the Gate (1997), it serves up full measures of atmosphere, mystery, and sensitive characterization. Following a pleading letter from a Quaker aunt he's never met, Ellsworth Smith braves his father's displeasure to visit the rest of his clan and see the 10 houses that a wealthy nineteenth-century ancestor, John Matthew Smith, built for his children. Only seven of the houses were ever occupied; in the other three, John Matthew hid "treasures" intended to help future generations in hard times. Two of the treasures have been found, and now, in the face of old tragedies and longstanding family disputes, it's time to find the third. Stirring in a dash of the supernatural and sometimes eerie parallels between present and past, Anderson sends Ellsworth and a troubled cousin in search of the treasure's location, then expertly uses setting details (including weather) to draw the quest to a suspenseful climax. In the end, the entire family joins the hunt, and in working together they discover not only a hoard of silver but also precious treasure in one another. John Peters
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
An immensely enjoyable read for kids of all ages!
Gale Finlayson
I also really liked the treasure in the end . . . it is very unexpected.
S. Ake
The book itself is kind of long, but I promise you'll love it.
Jane Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The ghost of John Smith, was a wealthy patriarch, has been taking a yearly walk around the Square of homes he built for his large family. He had hidden three treasures, two of which were found by the family when desperately needed. Now it is time for the youngest relatives to find the third. Sending dreams to two Smith teens who have never met, he promises their return to Smiths Mills. Facing a counterpane of mystery, mechanically minded Ellsworth and angry Jess must join forces to figure out the family dynamics and the meaning of the treasure clues. In Ellsworth, she has created a fully rounded and appealing character that has never been told why his father cut off all ties with his relatives years earlier. With a touch of the family's happiness of The Monkey Tree and a bit of the fake Going through the Gate Anderson has made up an awesome book for puzzle lovers.

This book was great, it took ½ the book to get intrusting but well worth it! Ellsworth is the brains behind the adventure and was just waiting for a opportunity like this, Jess on the other hand was my favorite character, because Jess was a tough kid who was just pushy and a never say never type of person.

For all the mystery lovers out there, this is the book for you. I ratted it 5 out of 5 stars and I'm not much of a reader. I mean, I read only for and when I HAVE TO for school. Now, if you're like me this for shore won't make you read but it is a good book and if you're willing enjoy its twists and turns! What are you still doing here go get this book, come on get out of here! :)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Last Treasure, by Janet S. Anderson, is a mystery about the Smith family. The Smith family has been in Smith Mills, New York for 150 years. This exciting adventure is Janet S. Anderson's third book for kids, and was a good candidate for the 2004 Newbery Award.

Ellsworth Smith is thirteen and lives with his father. On Ellsworth's birthday, he gets a letter from a distant cousin inviting him to stay with her for the summer. He really wants to go, but he isn't sure why. When he goes to the square with ten houses built by his great, great, great, great grandfather, Ellsworth learns a lot about the Smith family members, both living and dead. He and Jess, his cousin, have to solve the puzzle of the last treasure house on the square in order to keep the family together.

The author uses journal entries to tell the story of the Smith family from long ago. She also uses flashbacks in time. It is a little confusing to follow, but still really exciting. And the ending makes you feel good about the Smith family and your own. I think you will like this book and the message it has about families.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is Janet Anderson's third children's novel, and it contains the same sort of thought-provoking depth as her first two (GOING THROUGH THE GATE and THE MONKEY TREE). On the surface, this is a fast-paced, suspenseful read about the Smith family and the "treasure" that is hidden inside an old brick house. Intriguing flashbacks serve to hold our interest as we venture into this house and try to find the treasure.
However, this book is more than just a treasure hunt, and buried along with the treasure is the story of one boy and his outlook on the world. Ellsworth Smith is one of the most convincing characters I have read in a long time, but he's not the only one - all of Anderson's characters are brought to life with a unique and interesting style of dialogue. In the end, this story delivers a message about family, especially through the relationship between Ellsworth, his father, and his grandfather - the message, however, is never heavy-handed. Anderson's prose is amazingly vivid and poetic, and the story is one of her best yet. The book itself is a hidden treasure waiting to be found.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book because it reminded me how much I love my family. It made me think that in ups or downs a family stays together.

This book is about a teenager named Ellsworth. His dad moved away from the square so since then he and Ellsworth have lived in a motel. Now Ellsworth for his 13th birthday got a card from Elizabeth his aunt saying she wanted him to move in with her at the square. The square is a place that John Sullivan made about 100 years ago for his 13 kids. Since then members of the family have moved in and out of the square.

John Sullivan's family is falling apart and Ellsworth has to find the last treasure to save the family. A long time ago they found two treasures buried in two of three houses. One was 13 diamonds, the second was steel mines and the last treasure was . . . . . . You need to read the book to find out for yourself.

My favorite part in this book is when Ellsworth and his cousin Jessica meet for the first time in life. She thought they were twins!!!!

I would recommend this book to anybody ages 11+ years old. Someone who loves a book that it takes ½ the book to get what's happening. An overall awesome book! A thumbs up from me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is good but some parts are hard to understand because it is poetry. The poetry is the clue to the mystery of the last treasure house. If you read the clues over you will understand what they mean. It is so good, I would probably read it again. I recommend this book for most ages.
This book is about two kids who are fifth cousins named Jess and Ellsworth. Ellsworth and father, Ben Robert, live and help manage a hotel. On Ellsworth's birthday, he is invited to Smiths Mills, New York where his whole family lives. At first, Ben Robert doesn't want him to go but he knows it is necessary. As little as, they know there is treasure waiting to be found. The treasure is in a house which was built by Ellsworth's great great grandfather. This house was built on Smiths Square. It takes the whole family to find it.
Can Jess and Ellsworth get their whole fighting family to work together or will they fail like every one else who tried? How will they get along? Will they get the treasure? Go ahead read "The Last Treasure."
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