Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Secret of the Treasure Keepers by A.M. Howell

A.M. Howell’s newest book, The Secret of the Treasure Keepers, is an absolute triumph of historical fiction for children filled with positivity, hope and determination. Reading this, I felt like I was back with an old friend – comfortable and ready for a new adventure. In no time at all, I was completely immersed in the story, not wanting to be pulled out of it. Having loved A.M. Howell’s first three books, my daughter spotted me reading it and already has this on her wish list for when it is published in March 2022.

Ruth’s mum volunteers at the British Museum in post-war London. She is desperate to gain a paid position doing what she loves most – archaeology. A divorce and the impact of the war means money is short and the house is at risk. Ruth thinks her mum’s job is so exciting – carefully digging into the past and finding treasure that lay hidden for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

One night, while waiting for her mum to finish up at the museum, Ruth answers a telephone call she shouldn’t have. Mrs Mary Sterne is concerned about some objects she’s discovered in her field at Rook Farm in Ely. Someone needs to come and take a look at it before snow covers the ground and it’s too late in the year to find out if anything else is hiding underground. Should Ruth pass the message to Mr Knight, Curator of British Collections, or is this the chance her mum has been waiting for? One that will allow her to prove her skills and finally make a name for herself…

Ruth and her mum embark on a life-changing journey. With the people of Rook Farm, they discover far more than just treasure. Ruth learns that it is important to do what is right no matter what the consequences and realises that her dad knew what he was talking about when he said most problems can be solved by having a jolly good think.

In The Secret of the Treasure Keepers, we meet a wonderful collection of characters. Each one has a story and a secret. The impact of the war is clear. Times are hard for everyone and people are willing to resort to desperate measures to survive. So often, stories are set during the war itself. Focussing on 1948 shifts the attention to what came next and allows readers to take their understanding one step further.

There is no doubt The Secret of the Treasure Keepers will be a stand-out title for 2022.

Thank you to Usborne for this fantastic book!

Click on the book covers below to find out more or to preorder from bookshop.org or Amazon.

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