I always love a good pirate story and Saltwater Taffy by Eric DelaBarre will have you venturing off to uncover treasure maps and more.
Not only is it the Fourth of July, but it's also Pirate Week in town and everyone including Scott Martin is honoring their founding father, Jacques Pierre Lafitte, the great-grandson of a ruthless New Orleans pirate. Every year, the estate of Jacques Pierre Lafitte runs a full-page ad in the local newspaper detailing the latest clue to a popular treasure hunt in town known as the Keys of Lafitte. The clues from previous years just make up a long string of mixed-up letters and symbols, but everyone in town is vying to win. However, when five friends uncover a treasure map, they realize anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Saltwater Taffy is an adventurous read that will have you cheering Scott and his friends on as they try to out-wit some of the characters in town, including the town bully and Old Man Sheesley, a creepy old man living at the top of the hill. There are so many things I love about this book--the fact that the images play in your mind like a movie, that the illustrations by R.C. Nason are just plain fun, and that the pages of the book make you feel as though you're holding onto an old treasure map. Most important though is that not only do the characters in the book learn about treasure hunting, but they also learn the importance of friendship.
To learn more, please visit the official website, which is very cool in itself!
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Seven Publishing (January 11, 2011)
Source of review copy: Publicist