The author, Fraser Smith, is a primary school principal in real life and in this story he has captured the essence of an exciting summer holiday: the beach, staying with relatives, Pohutukawa trees, tree huts, treasure and mystery, it is quintessentially a Kiwi summer adventure book – although there have never been any talking parrots on any of my Summer holidays, I do think one would have been an exciting addition though!
I was a young child when I heard about ambergris, whale vomit, and how it can be found washed up on beaches and its high value for use in the perfume industry. Reading this story, with its mention of ambergris reminded me of all those fascinating mysterious things you learn and discover as a child and how childhood imaginations can run wild! Awatea’s Treasure captures all that mystery and excitement and young readers will find it hard to put down.
Awatea’s Treasure fits a lot into just 127 pages and with a large font makes it a non-threatening read for reluctant readers. I know if I give them the synopsis and place the book in their hands, they will be keen to read it!
Title: Awatea’s Treasure
Author: Fraser Smith
Publisher: Huia Publishers
Date of Publication: February 2017
Ages: 8 - 12
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Librarian, Opaheke School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence: It was getting dark.