I received a copy of Treasure Hunters: Peril at the Top of the World by James Patterson as part of this sponsored campaign. This post also contains affiliate links where I earn a commission (but you don’t pay anything) if you choose to purchase through them.
I feel like this has been the summer of James Patterson. I just finished every adult book he wrote that my library owns, and we listened to almost all the Rafe books in the car traveling to and fro this summer. The Jimmy imprint that James Patterson started aims to make books fun and accessible to kids. When they finish one, he wants them to ask for another book. With the fourth book in the Treasure Hunters series, he achieved that goal again.
The Kidd family again stars in the book, with Mom and Dad safely back reunited with the family. Narrated by Bick and illustrated by his twin sister Beck, this time the family must find four missing paintings from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The day after they visit with their tour guide/tutor, four famous paintings disappear, and the Kidds are the prime suspects.
Treasure Hunters: Peril at the Top of the World is the fourth book in the series. Fortunately, even if you haven’t yet read the others, you can easily enjoy this book. Patterson provides explanations for any references to previous books without giving away too much or taking away from the current story. That said, go find and read the first eponymous book, Danger Down the Nile, and Secret of the Forbidden City.
Fortunately, the Kidds were already on the trail of the elusive and potentially made up Enlightened Ones, who have hijacked all sorts of art treasures. Mr. Kidd had already left St. Petersburg to track down the missing artwork by the time anyone discovered the thefts. The Enlightened Ones left a clue for the Kidd family on the initial museum visit, and he left to investigate. The police arrested the remaining family members for the thefts, however.
Eventually, the Kidds convinced the police that they searched for treasure but didn’t steal it. Minister Szymanowicz tasked them with finding the four missing paintings. The next day, off they went to the North Pole. As with other books in the series, the adventures came fast and furious. They found themselves in one dangerous situation after another, but they always come out on top.
Many of the adventures and scenarios are over the top, but this book is aimed at Grades 3-7, and my kids both enjoyed it. Interestingly my son liked it even more than my daughter. It is silly with puns and ridiculous situations, and older brother Tommy is a lovesick caricature. That said, you learn interesting tidbits throughout thanks to older sister Storm. She has a photographic memory and spouts off facts regularly. Some are bound to stick in your kids’ heads as they read! I found learning about food eaten by Russians and Inuit the most fascinating, especially the details of the ingredients within various dishes.
There was a somewhat strong emphasis in the book on the damage to the environment, particularly around oil drilling and climate change. On the trip to the North Pole, the Kidds videoed floating piles of junk and glaciers falling apart. They met with scientists at the North Pole who shared the dangers of micro beads in gels, face cleansers, and whitening toothpastes. Some of this was a little over the top, but it is a valid message.
As with all the books we’ve read in the Jimmy imprint, the novel features fun illustrations throughout. They appear on nearly every page, making the book more approachable for reluctant readers. The drawings are cute, with slightly snarky captions to accompany them. Nothing in the book is mean, and the Kidd family shows how to work together to succeed. Even at almost 350 pages, the pages fly by quickly – partly thanks to the illustrations.
I didn’t love the most recent Treasure Hunters book, but my son already read it twice. It fits its audience perfectly, where the ridiculous is fun and appreciated. It contains some plot holes, but my kids don’t mind. I found the emphasis on the environmental problems and odd secondary focus for an adventure book. It wasn’t inappropriate, and my kids accepted it, so obviously it doesn’t take away from the fun of the book for them!
Check out more of our thoughts on the Treasure Hunters most recent book in the video review we created. They truly enjoyed this book!
Have you ready any of the Treasure Hunters series? What are your kids’ favorite books?