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The Treasures of Weatherby

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The Treasures of Weatherby

By Zilpha Keatley Snyder

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Format: Paperback, 213 pages
Harleigh J. Weatherby IV leads a lonely existence in the vast Weatherby mansion under the watchful eye of his great aunt Adelaide -- until a mysterious girl named Allegra literally flies over the walls of Weatherby House and into his life. Allegra's intense curiosity about Weatherby House forces Harleigh to think about things he's always ignored, including the long-lost treasure of the first Harleigh -- which someone is trying to steal.

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Snyder fashions a novel more akin to her lighter The Ghosts of Rathburn Park than her weightier Gib Rides Home or The Runaways. Harleigh J. Weatherby IV is a lonely and sickly 12-year-old who lives with several relatives in an enormous and rather shabby house, which is ruled by his great-aunt Adelaide. One afternoon he slips away in search of a leafy labyrinth in a far corner of the estate's overgrown gardens. There he meets a straggly-haired girl who claims she flew over the wall in order to see the house. Several mild adventures ensue, and Harleigh learns that the greatest treasures are not always riches. While Snyder's two protagonists are as sympathetic as ever, this rather repetitious novel is not among the author's best. Harleigh's consideration of future actions and review of events serves to add length to the story rather than to advance a plot somewhat reminiscent of The Secret Garden. Most of the secondary characters remain elusive. Ages 8-12. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Gr 4-6-A descendant of the famous Weatherbys, 12-year-old Harleigh J. Weatherby the Fourth claims the tower of the family's run-down castle as his bedroom. This is his first step toward asserting himself and making some of his own decisions. His father makes an infrequent appearance; he lives with overbearing Great-Aunt Adelaide, who has rules for all aspects of life in the mansion, and an assortment of odd relatives. Teasing from the local kids about his unusually small stature has driven him to be homeschooled by Uncle Edgar. While exploring the grounds, Harleigh meets a mysterious girl named Allegra. Dressed in rags, she is full of wonder and wants to know all the secrets associated with the house. They begin restoring an old maze that has grown into a tangled mess and stumble on a plan by one of the relatives to locate and steal the long-lost Weatherby treasure. Readers will identify with Harleigh's personal conflicts as he develops an inner awareness while coming to grips with the turn of events. The characters are nicely painted oddballs who help advance the mystery, but children may find the sudden change in Aunt Adelaide's character disappointing as it minimizes Harleigh's triumphs. Also, the revelation of Allegra's identity is a bit of a letdown as such an aura of mystery had been built around her. The story has a promising beginning, but the ending is a bit of a disappointment.-Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9781416913993
ISBN: 1416913998
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Dimensions: 19.38 x 14.71 x 1.63 centimetres (0.77 kg)
Age Range: 5-9 years
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