Treasure Tracks

Farrar. Jun. 2022. 224p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374389796.
Gr 4-7–This middle grade adventure hits the mark with prickly characters, clues to a lost treasure, scuba diving, and blacktip sharks and barracudas. Three generations, grandpa, son, and grandson, search for a pot of treasure lost at sea. Through rough family dynamics, the family bridges their differences to discover the jackpot. Rodriguez highlights other familiar plotlines of the genre, including duplicitous villains making nice with the protagonist and cantankerous parental units trying to squash 12-year-old Fin’s exploits. Themes for this underwater adventure include overcoming adversity, coming of age, and the importance of family. The structure of the plot is linear in nature, beginning with the grandfather’s quest, the second generation rejecting the challenge, and the third resuming the hunt. The author weaves in a strong sense of reverence for Floridian natural elements and marine life. The characters’ Cuban heritage is also worked into the plot, and Spanish is seamlessly sprinkled throughout. For readers who enjoy ocean adventures, this debut novel delivers.
VERDICT A high-octane middle grade adventure for fans of James Ponti’s “City Spies.”

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