The Book of Mormon Sleuth 4, The Forgotten Treasure
C. B. Andersen
Deseret Book , 2004. Quality Paperback:
Suggested retail price: $10.95 (US)
The Forgotten Treasure continues the adventures of the Andrews familywho, as the opening pages of this book remind us, are incapable of enjoyinga normal family vacation. In previous volumes, they've encounteredkidnapping, theft, plane crashes, and just about anything you can think of.And in every instance, their grounding in the principles of the Gospel andtheir knowledge of the scriptures see them through to safety.
The first book in the series brought the family to historic Nauvoo, wherethey first encountered the evil Dr. Anthony, who tried to steal a valuableBook of Mormon from the Andrews children, the intended recipients of thegift. Along the way, Andersen weaves instruction in both scripture andChurch history, in a way easily understood by children. I commented at thetime that making such knowledge enjoyable and accessible to young peoplewas a wonderful idea, and well executed by the author.
Volumes two and three departed from the original model, taking the familyto exotic and far-flung places. And while there were few explicitreferences to Church history sites, the principles of the Gospel were welltaught, nicely used in moving the story along and presenting a solid modelfor the Latter-day Saint family.
The present volume, the fourth in the series, returns to the vision of thefirst -- this time, the family visits historic sites in Kirtland andPalmyra. I was very glad to see author Andersen revisit this idea, and thepresent effort is even better than the first. This time, the familyjourneys to Kirtland to explore their family roots, and to unravel amystery concerning one of their ancestors. They uncover a document thatmay very well lead them to a valuable treasure.
But they are not the only ones interested in this treasure. Others want toget their hands on the loot, without really knowing what it was. Thefamily visits the home of one of their ancestors, meeting the delightfulolder couple now living in the house who become a vital part of the story.I was delighted at the author's depiction of this wonderful non-Mormoncouple, living in Kirtland, and ready to join in the Andrews family's questfor their roots.
The cast of characters in this volume is, in my opinion, richer and betterdeveloped than in the previous volumes. And there is an ongoing tensionthroughout the story -- although you suspect who the bad guys might be,you're never quite sure that you've gotten it right. And the action isexceptionally well written, in particular a harrowing episode at NiagaraFalls that left me breathless.
As with the first volume, this entry is rich in historical detail andinsights into the early days of the Church. As the Andrews family travelsfrom one site to the next, the reader is treated to a virtual travelogue,enhanced by the sometimes learned and often humorous comments of thechildren.
This series continues to deliver a fine and valuable addition to the corpusof Mormon literature for young people. Once again, I'm glad to commendthis book -- indeed, the entire series -- and hope these books enjoy a widereadership.
Jeff Needle July 6, 2004
© 2004 Jeff Needle