Treasure Island: Runaway Gold

Harper Audio. Oct. 2023. 651p. $27.99. ISBN 9780063335677.
Gr 5-7–Rhodes’s opening epigraph from Robert Louis Stevenson’s late-19th-century classic immediately credits her inspiration. Harvey, who laudably ciphered Rhodes’s Ghost Boys, enlivens her latest cast featuring three swashbuckling Rockaway, Queens, middle schoolers bound for the island of Manhattan. Zane’s father’s sudden death forced his exhausted mother to open their house to boarders; eviction, alas, still looms. Just before their elderly resident Captain Maddie dies, she appoints Zane her First Mate and extols him to “[f]ind the treasure.” The riches could save Zane’s home, his buddy Jack might escape his abusive father, and meanwhile, their friend Kiko just wants to help. Mysterious Captain John appears to spin yarns of high seas adventures—but is he friend or foe? The memorable discoveries highlight long-buried Black history and culture.
VERDICT From heroes-in-the-making to a lawless pirate crew with a salty talking parrot, Harvey's energy convincingly ensures a valuable aural adventure.

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