The Last Treasure
By Matt Berman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
A ghost, a family mystery, and treasure.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that at the heart of this mystery-fantasy are family relationships, and the emotionally fraught family squabbling that leads to separation and misery.
Where to Read
There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
Ellsworth, living with his widowed father, has never met any of his relatives, and his father won't say why. But on his thirteenth birthday he receives an invitation from an elderly cousin, Elizabeth, to return to the ancestral family home, ten houses on a Square. His father, very reluctantly, agrees to let him go.
Ellsworth has seen a picture of the Square, had strange dreams about it, and heard stories of the Treasures hidden there by his ancestor, John Matthew. But the Square, and his relatives who inhabit it, are devastated by fighting and loss, and are barely a family any longer. Of the three original Treasures, only one is left to be discovered, but perhaps the prescient John Matthew made arrangements for more than his descendants' financial well-being.
Is It Any Good?
Atmospheric, lyrical, and fascinating are all reasonable descriptions of this Edgar Allen Poe Award nominee; so are complex, confusing, too many characters, and too subtle. To really get this book requires turning right back to the beginning and reading it again. A story involving a ghost, mystery, and hidden treasure is bound to be intriguing, and for kids who like this sort of thing, putting together all the pieces of the puzzle adds to the appeal. But some kids will just find it confusing, though the basic plot may be enough to carry them through.
THE LAST TREASURE is full of intriguing plot elements (a ghost, a goldfish, an unfinished book, and lots more) that don't seem to lead to anything. But some of them do, in very subtle ways. Others don't seem to, but this author can be sneaky and devious, so one is unwilling to be certain.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about family dynamics. Kids may also be inspired to explore their own family histories, and to research apostle spoons.
- Author: Janet S. Anderson
- Genre: Mystery
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
- Publication date: August 12, 2004
- Number of pages: 257
- Last updated: August 31, 2015
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Read
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate