cover image The Seven Treasure Hunts

The Seven Treasure Hunts

Betsy Cromer Byars. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (74pp) ISBN 978-0-06-020885-1

Jackson and his scheming friend Goat, heroes of Cracker Jackson , Byars's compassionate and thoughtfully rendered novel about physical abuse, return in this lighthearted adventure. The boys attempt to outwit each other with a series of treasure hunts, and meet with mishaps at every turn. When a list of clues leads Jackson to a chocolate popsicle in Goat's freezer, he mistakenly claims the treat as his treasure, unaware that it belongs to Goat's sister Rachel--``the ogre.'' Rachel extracts her revenge by intercepting and rehiding Jackson's prize for Goat, sending the pair on a frenzied, ``clueless'' search that ends where it began. The thin plot doesn't deliver the seven adventures promised by the title, and readers may find the resolution somewhat uninspired. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 7-11. (Apr.)