cover image The Treasures of Weatherby

The Treasures of Weatherby

Zilpha Keatley Snyder, . . S&S/ Atheneum, $15.95 (213pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-1398-6

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.)