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The Search for the Homestead Treasure

2016
Author:

Ann Treacy

The Search for the Homestead Treasure

An adventurous boy uncovers the mystery of family treasure on a homestead fallen on hard times in early twentieth-century Minnesota

Fourteen-year-old Martin Gunnarsson is trying to hold his family together on the homestead where his ancestors died of diphtheria in 1865. Somehow rumors of a treasure on the farm survived, and when Martin discovers Aunt Cora’s journal in a musty trunk in the hayloft, he thinks it might give him a clue. But what exactly is he looking for?

Here is a real treasure. Authentic and beautifully told, The Search for the Homestead Treasure weaves together the endearing story of an unlikely friendship with a compelling and intriguing mystery. Ann Treacy brings to vivid life the hardship and rewards of early twentieth-century rural Minnesota in this gem of a book.

Margi Preus, author of Enchantment Lake*

Aunt Ida would boil him in the laundry cauldron if she knew where he was. On the long wagon ride to the old homestead, she warned them about the Gypsies they’d encountered, and now here he was, ducking into a colorful caravan with Samson, a Gypsy boy he had met . . . underwater. And it was the best thing to happen since they’d moved from Stillwater to this lonely, hard place to try to reclaim the decrepit family farm.

Missing his friends and life as it was before his brother’s accident and his mother’s silent grief, fourteen-year-old Martin Gunnarsson is trying to hold his family together on the homestead where his ancestors died of diphtheria in 1865. The only one who had survived was his father, a baby found in the arms of his older sister Cora. But somehow rumors of a treasure on the farm survived, too, and when Martin discovers Aunt Cora’s journal in a musty trunk in the hayloft, he thinks it might give him a clue. But what exactly is he looking for?

Reading Cora's diary in secret, and just as stealthily becoming fast friends with Samson and his Roma family, Martin slowly begins to see his new surroundings, and himself, a little differently. But only when he recognizes that his small sister, for so long a mere pest, holds the true key does Martin start to understand where the real treasure might be found.

The Search for the Homestead Treasure

Ann Treacy is coauthor (with Margi Preus) of A Book of Grace. Her writing has appeared in Lake Superior Magazine as well as Highlights for Children magazine. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

The Search for the Homestead Treasure

Here is a real treasure. Authentic and beautifully told, The Search for the Homestead Treasure weaves together the endearing story of an unlikely friendship with a compelling and intriguing mystery. Ann Treacy brings to vivid life the hardship and rewards of early twentieth-century rural Minnesota in this gem of a book.

Margi Preus, author of Enchantment Lake*

Martin is a quiet character who will not let go of my heart! While his story is one bound in family and history, his struggles and grit will speak to every modern young reader who knows loss and heartbreak. Treacy’s message of perseverance and hope make Martin a protagonist to root for and a boy never to forget.

Helen Hemphill, author of The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones

Ann Treacy shows a gift for mystery shot through with historical details, but never overwhelmed by the past. Reading The Search for the Homestead Treasure made me want to find lost treasure and—almost—made me want to grab hold of the plow with Martin, clearing the land for planting and clearing a path for him into the grown-up world.

Gwenyth Swain, author of Wanda Gág: Storybook Artist and Riding to Washington

Set in rural Minnesota in 1903, this evocative effort neatly weaves in period details. It reflects the demands of farming and the significant prejudice that was harbored by the white farmers against the Roma, documented both in the story that depicts their culture and in an informative author's note. A good bet for fans of historical fiction.

Kirkus Reviews

[A] tightly written novel.

Publishers Weekly

Ann Treacy loves the craft of writing-- not just the flow of words and the stories that bubble up, but truly crafting the right phrases, tone, and pace.

Lake Superior Magazine

Extensive research and a compelling protagonist make this title a great fit for classes exploring their family trees.

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