Chalfoun, Michelle The Treasure of Maria Mamoun, 344 pages. Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillan), 2016. Content: G (some non-violent bullying).
Maria, 12, has done her best to avoid the Bad Barbies at her New York school and apartment, but one day they get their hands on her and terrorize her to her core. In order to protect her daughter, Maria’s mother quits her city jobs and takes a position as a private nurse for Mr. Ironwill, a dying, eccentric old gentleman who lives alone in a secluded mansion on Martha’s Vineyard. Maria falls in love with her new life, gradually makes friends with Mr. Ironwill, and uncovers a decades old pirate treasure mystery. In order to solve the mystery, however, she will have to put her faith in Paolo, the troubled, annoying son of Mr. Ironwill’s housekeeper.
For a first book for children, Chalfoun crafts a fine mystery. From the opening hook of the neighborhood bullying, to the final reveal, the author keeps the tension high and the action interesting.
EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher