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The Treasures of Weatherby Hardcover – December 26, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4–6—A descendant of the famous Weatherbys, 12-year-old Harleigh J. Weatherby the Fourth claims the tower of the family's run-down castle as his bedroom. This is his first step toward asserting himself and making some of his own decisions. His father makes an infrequent appearance; he lives with overbearing Great-Aunt Adelaide, who has rules for all aspects of life in the mansion, and an assortment of odd relatives. Teasing from the local kids about his unusually small stature has driven him to be homeschooled by Uncle Edgar. While exploring the grounds, Harleigh meets a mysterious girl named Allegra. Dressed in rags, she is full of wonder and wants to know all the secrets associated with the house. They begin restoring an old maze that has grown into a tangled mess and stumble on a plan by one of the relatives to locate and steal the long-lost Weatherby treasure. Readers will identify with Harleigh's personal conflicts as he develops an inner awareness while coming to grips with the turn of events. The characters are nicely painted oddballs who help advance the mystery, but children may find the sudden change in Aunt Adelaide's character disappointing as it minimizes Harleigh's triumphs. Also, the revelation of Allegra's identity is a bit of a letdown as such an aura of mystery had been built around her. The story has a promising beginning, but the ending is a bit of a disappointment.—Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL
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No bigger than a boy half his age, 12-year-old Harleigh J. Weatherby the Fourth holds out little hope that his latest heart operation will change that or much else. Still, he enjoys certain advantages in life: an ancestral home with so many rooms that he has never been able to count them, homeschooling with his accommodating uncle Edgar, and, lately, an actual friend named Allegra, a girl who apparently can fly. Mysterious characters abound at Weatherby House, and with the help of Allegra, Harleigh learns more about its past and present inhabitants. Tailor-made for children who love the thought of rambling mansions, garden mazes, and hidden treasure, this mannered but very enjoyable story strolls along at a steady pace, allowing plenty of time to savor its distinctive pleasures and unusual characters. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved