Treasure on Superstition Mountain

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Treasure on Superstition Mountain Book Poster Image
Action picks up in adventure-packed sequel.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value
The series continues to build on the legends surrounding Arizona's Superstition Mountain and offers a glimpse into the area's past, including Apache legends and Santa Fe's development as an artists' colony. Henry's favorite books might inspire readers; he mentions nearly a dozen, including True Grit and The Count of Monte Cristo
Positive Messages
The spirited children make inroads where many adults before them have failed, and they show that history can be very exciting.
Positive Role Models & Representations
Delilah is spirited and doing her best to keep up with the boys despite dealing with a bulky cast. Henry steps up to help Delilah and his brothers when he senses they're feeling hurt or unhappy. He's comforting and encouraging, despite his own fears, and realizes he's becoming more courageous.
Violence & Scariness
One child crashes through the floor of a rotting building. The adventurers face down a rattlesnake and barely escape a rock slide. Someone leaves a message on the mountain warning them to stay away.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Treasure on Superstition Mountain, the second book in a series, is best enjoyed after the first volume, Missing on Superstition Mountain. The children continue to ignore their parents' rules in pursuit of adventure, this time taking advantage of a relative who shirks her babysitting duties to go on a date instead. The children are repeatedly in gravely perilous situations (including facing down a rattlesnake and barely escaping a rock slide), and a hidden person threatens them.

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What's the story?

After their harrowing adventure in a canyon on Superstition Mountain, the Barker boys -- Henry, Simon, and Jack -- and friend Delilah, who's slowed down by a broken leg, are eager to learn more about the map and gold coins they discovered there. In search of the legendary gold mine, they explore a nearby ghost town, continue their research at the library, and prepare to return to the perilous canyon -- ignoring their parents' order to stay off the mountain. Sneaking back gets easier when the boys' parents go out of town and their visiting Aunt Kathy leaves them alone and goes on a date. They make a thrilling discovery, but at great risk, and still have many unanswered questions.

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Is it any good?

The action picks up considerably, but, as in the earlier book, the overall story lacks a satisfying resolution. TREASURE ON SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN picks up where the first book in the series left off, and it's best read after Missing on Superstition Mountain. Henry in particular develops as a character, showing courage and kindness and becoming the heart of the group.
Each dramatic scene moves the plot forward only incrementally, and the story seems to halt abruptly. Some of the mysterious characters from the first book don't appear in this installment, but others take a more prominent role. Many questions remain to be resolved in the third book.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the story is divided among the books. Why do you think it's packaged as a trilogy? What do you think will happen in Book 3?
  • Does the fact that Superstition Mountain and its legends exist in real life affect how you enjoy this book?
  • Do you think the parents are overly cautious here, or are the kids reckless?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure and mystery

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