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Cover image for The lost treasure of Tuckernuck
The lost treasure of Tuckernuck
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, c2012.
Physical Description:
283 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Reading Level:
630 L Lexile
"Sixth graders Laurie and Bud attempt to solve an eighty-year-old mystery at their historic school before the building is torn down to make way for a MegaMart"--


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This laugh-out-loud novel by Emily Fairlie is a fresh take on the classic mystery caper. It's perfect for fans of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Chasing Vermeer, The Westing Game, and the Mysterious Benedict Society books.

Using a unique blend of notes, lists, and classic prose, The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck tells the story of Bud and Laurie's quest to find the infamous Tutweiler Treasure. They're hot (or at least lukewarm) on the trail of scavenger hunt clues, but time is running out--the school board wants to tear down Tuckernuck Hall. Can Bud and Laurie find the treasure before it's lost forever?

Readers can enjoy solving puzzles along with the characters, and teachers will appreciate references to famous artists and architects such as Pablo Picasso and Frank Lloyd Wright. There is something for everyone in this treasure trove of wry wit, thrilling adventure, and undeniable heart!

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Sixth-grader Laurie is miserable. Her parents have enrolled her in their alma mater, Tuckernuck Hall, which is falling apart and is about to be torn down by a vengeful school board. On top of that, her unfortunate classroom assignment is gerbil duty with the school social outcast, Bud, and everyone has to wear humiliating chicken hats for school assemblies. Laurie wants to transfer to Hamilton to be with her best friend, Kimmy, but her parents are fiercely loyal to the school and are convinced that the building has historical value and shouldn't be destroyed. Laurie distracts herself with decoding the puzzle the founder of the school created 80 years before. No one knows what the promised treasure is and no one's been able to unravel the clues. She ends up on a wild scavenger hunt with Bud, tracking down old items that hold famous poems, odd clues, and random letters leading them back to a chicken painting that began it all. But Hilda the chicken is not what she appears to be. Interspersed throughout the text are lists by Laurie and other classmates as well as email from school administrators, which give readers a window into what is happening behind the scenes. Bud and Laurie are well-developed characters, and the plot is fast paced and often funny. Readers are kept guessing about the treasure until the very end. A great read for fans of mystery or puzzles.-Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

Laurie, a reluctant student at Tuckernuck Hall, and Bud, an academic overachiever, team up to solve a generations-old chain of clues left behind by the school's founder. Fairlie leads her protagonists (and readers) through a series of initially obtuse riddles that are often solved by convenience rather than wit. Still, fans of treasure hunts will enjoy the challenge. (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Laurie does not want to be a Tuckernuck Clucker. Her plan: Stay long enough to solve the puzzle posed by the school's founder, reap the promised treasure, then transfer to Hamilton Junior High. Laurie is embarrassed by the Clucker regalia (chicken hats!). Worse, she is paired as Gerbil Monitor with Bud, the outcast who had sugary treats banned from school. It is while chasing an escaped gerbil that Laurie and Bud discover the first clue in the 80-year-old challenge. While the premise is familiar, children will delight in the over-the-top treatment and fresh delivery. The third-person narration indulges the comical, self-involved dramas of preteens. Nor are Laurie and Bud especially interested in the clues' highbrow references. After asking a teacher about Keats, Laurie assures him: "No, it's fine, I don't need to study him." Readers also find tips from Laurie on "How to Elude a Persistent and Overeager English Teacher," which include "Make excuses and back away slowly." Other lists, notes and emails are interspersed throughout, providing more insight into the characters and background for the story. Most poignant is the relationship revealed between Bud and his father. That Laurie and Bud will solve the puzzle is a given. The real thrill is how the characters begin to discover and determine their own futures as they go through the process. A sure hit. (Mystery. 8-12)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Sixth-graders Laurie and Bud are on a quest to discover a treasure hidden at their school, Tuckernuck Hall, by its founder 80 years ago. To find it, they must first puzzle out a series of linked, frustratingly enigmatic clues. Time is not on their side, however, since the school board is considering tearing the school down to sell the property to developers. Add to this mix a secret school source (sounds sinister), a pair of bloodthirsty gerbils, and a chicken named Hilda, and you have a story that will intrigue young mystery buffs. First-time novelist Fairlie employs a variety of narrative devices, including amusing lists, phone messages, and e-mails, which add a whimsical air to a cheerful story with likable characters and some not so likable ones. While the humor occasionally seems a bit forced, the clues are clever, and the mystery will hold the reader's attention all the way to its surprising conclusion.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist

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