When two twelve-year-old children, Lucy and Paddy Hendricks, inadvertently run afoul of a well-laid plot in The Pirate of Janaconda Island, adventure begins and danger looms - but Lucy and Paddy aren't anticipating an action-filled summer. They feel they are being banished to a boring island with little to do on a "crummy rock heap in the middle of nowhere."
This changes when the kids experience a near-accident as soon as they arrive, enter a creepy old mansion that is to be their new home, and have the option of using a boat. As their anticipation of boredom turns to a series of adventures, threats, and intrigue, Lucy and Paddy go caving, become involved in a real-world treasure hunt, and face secrets that tie their house to a present-day mystery.
Advanced elementary to middle school readers will appreciate the intrigue and mystery which permeate this realistic story of two kids who find more trouble than they'd bargained for when they embark on a treasure hunt that places them at odds with other searchers.
Dialogue is well done, adult interventions and actions juxtapose nicely with the siblings' efforts, and young readers will become immersed in a series of puzzling clues that are riveting and keep readers guessing until the end.
Unlike some treasure-oriented mysteries for kids, Warren Firschein rounds out his the story with adult purposes and perspectives and a realistic approach where the kids don't always act independently, but have steady interactions with parents and outsiders alike.
The result is an engrossing mystery highly recommended for kids who live for tales of treasure and intrigue.