9781800461321Rob Keeley is back with The Treasure in the Tower , his first standalone novel for middle graders following the success of his Spirits series. It’s a fun, historical mystery based around a school residential trip, blending a treasure-hunting plot with a school story and a large amount of humour.

A school trip to historic Deanchester becomes more exciting when Jess and her friends discover the city hides a secret treasure. Local historian Dr Joseph Pyrite left a series of clues scattered around Deanchester’s landmarks, which Jess, Mason and Kessie are determined to solve. But they only have three days. And they have competition. A series of increasingly cunning tricks awaits Jess and her party as they try to beat Perdita and Thomas to the treasure.

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My Review

This was great fun! I thoroughly enjoyed every moment following Jess, Kessie and Mason on their half-term school trip to Deanchester.

The fun starts straight away in the playground as the children arrive checking each other out and getting on the coach. There’s groaning as they think about the songs one of their teachers usually makes them sing. Then there’s the rivalry about who’s going to sit where and with whom.

The quest to find the treasure isn’t organised by the school, but something the children getting caught up in along the way. They’ve got competition though, because snooty Perdita and her unwilling sidekick Thomas also want to find the treasure. As you can tell I did not like Perdita but I did feel sorry for Thomas and wished he would switch sides.

I really enjoyed the rivalry between the two groups and was fully on Jess’ side, willing them to beat Perdita and Thomas. I loved the historical facts I learned about Deanchester and kept wondering which city the author had based it on, or whether it was an amalgamation of a few places in the UK?

Of course I can’t tell you who found the treasure, but I will tell you that there was very good twist and a very satisfying ending to this fun  adventure with fab illustrations by Simon Goodway.

I definitely recommend this for middle grade readers, especially those  who enjoy quests and historical stories.

Thanks to the author for sending me a lovely copy for review.

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