ROB KEELEY

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A school trip to historic Deanchester becomes more exciting when Jess and her friends discover the city hides a secret treasure. Local historian Dr Joseph Pyrite left a series of clues scattered around Deanchester's landmarks, which Jess, Mason and Kessie are determined to solve. But they only have three days. And they have competition. A series of increasingly cunning tricks awaits Jess and her party as they try to beat Perdita and Thomas to the treasure.

 

Illustrated by Simon Goodway.

 

Published 28 January 2021 - but copies will be available online in time for Christmas 2020!

 

'Rob Keeley does it again with another fantastic book for children! I have long admired his writing. His award-winning Spirits Series was fantastic and The Treasure in the Tower continues his fabulous storytelling abilities...

 

I really loved the way that history was incorporated throughout this whole story in a way which will appeal to children in the form of the treasure hunt. It was also lovely to see how the characters in the story learned the colourful story of Deanchester in an interesting way. I am very excited to share this book with my class of Year 4 children in the new year!

 

A five star triumph from Rob Keeley.'

- Book Addict

 

 

'This was great fun! I thoroughly enjoyed every moment following Jess, Kessie and Mason on their half-term school trip to Deanchester.

 

The fun starts straight away in the playground as the children arrive checking each other out and getting on the coach. There’s groaning as they think about the songs one of their teachers usually makes them sing. Then there’s the rivalry about who’s going to sit where and with whom.

 

The quest to find the treasure isn’t organised by the school, but something the children getting caught up in along the way. They’ve got competition though, because snooty Perdita and her unwilling sidekick Thomas also want to find the treasure. As you can tell I did not like Perdita but I did feel sorry for Thomas and wished he would switch sides.

 

I really enjoyed the rivalry between the two groups and was fully on Jess’ side, willing them to beat Perdita and Thomas. I loved the historical facts I learned about Deanchester and kept wondering which city the author had based it on, or whether it was an amalgamation of a few places in the UK?

 

Of course I can’t tell you who found the treasure, but I will tell you that there was very good twist and a very satisfying ending to this fun  adventure with fab illustrations by Simon Goodway.

 

I definitely recommend this for middle grade readers, especially those  who enjoy quests and historical stories.'

- Secret Library Book Blog

 

 

'This was just the kind of book I needed at this time!! Pure escapism and full of fun and intrigue! The perfect middle grade story for readers young and slightly older!!

 

The story is based around a school trip to Deanchester! Lots of excited kids on a coach, away from their parents for probably the first time – those poor teachers!! But the moment some of the children find an intriguing book, their attention is switched to solving the mystery! The book tells of a historian who has scattered clues around Deanchester before his death, and it hints of hidden treasure! Who wouldn’t be excited!

 

What follows is 2 groups of friends working against each other to be the first to solve the clues – and provides a perfect way of them learning while having fun in completing the quest! There’s lots of sabotage and fun along the way and I found myself just as fascinated as to what they would uncover if they solved all the clues! There’s history and ghost walks and all against the ticking clock of them having to go back home! There’s also some really sweet black and white illustrations that add that little extra to the story!

 

I really enjoyed this and just enjoy the way Rob writes stories to keep them relevant and engaging!!'

- Karen Mace, blogger

 

'Rob Keeley is back! Hooray! We here at Bookbag Towers are always happy to read a new adventure from Rob - his stories combine fast pace and lots of action, an easy to read style, an unerring eye for children's friendships and rivalries, and always a good dollop of naughty humour. They're all present here, in The Treasure in the Tower. The chance purchase of a book during a school trip sparks the whole adventure. Who can follow the clues best and find the treasure? Jess, her brother Mason and their friend Kessie through sheer persistence? Or spoiled brat Perdita with her money and tech gadgets and willingness to cheat? We know which team we're rooting for, of course!

 

You'll like Jess, who has a strong sense of fair play and lots of energy, and her relationship with her irrepressible, prank-loving brother Mason is a joy to read. And Kessie, who gets bullied by Perdita over her dyslexia, but who has a strong sense of right and wrong and a good brain to back up her morals. The three use every tool at their disposal to solve Dr Pyrite's clues, only to be foiled at almost every turn by Perdita's less-than-sporting attitude to competition. Keeley captures school pecking orders brilliantly and you can see all sorts of thoughtful subtleties that really make the relationships in this story three-dimensional - for example, Perdita may be domineering and controlling of her hanger-on, shy Thomas, but she also protects him. She's not a cookie cutter villain.

 

The clues all follow an aspect of history - women learning to drive and volunteering with the ambulance service during World War One, capital punishment in medieval times, for example - and readers will take in quite a bit of information, inspiring them to find out more.  And there are some fabulous slapstick moments which drop the essential element of humour into the mix. I won't give them all away, but my favourites involved jam sandwiches and fake blood in the form of tomato soup!

 

A rollicking good adventure, a morality tale, and an advocate for the study of history. What more could you want from a middle grade story?

 

Recommended.'

- Jill Murphy, The Bookbag.

The Treasure in the Tower

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