Treasure Island: Runaway Gold

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Bestselling and award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes reimagines the classic novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson in this thrilling adventure set in modern-day Manhattan, in which three kids must navigate the city’s hidden history, dodge a threatening crew of skater kids, and decide who they can really trust in order to hunt down a long-buried treasure. 

Three kids. One dog. And the island of Manhattan, laid out in an old treasure map…

Zane is itching for an adventure that will take him away from his family’s boarding house in Rockaway, Queens. So when he is entrusted with a real treasure map, leading to a spot somewhere in Manhattan, Zane wastes no time in riding the ferry over to the city to start the search with his friends Kiko and Jack and his dog, Hip-Hop.

Through strange coincidence, they meet a man who is eager to help them find the treasure: John, a sailor who knows all about the buried history of Black New Yorkers of centuries past—and the gold that is hidden somewhere in those stories.

As a vicious rival skateboard crew follows them around the city, Zane and his friends begin to wonder who they can really trust. And soon it becomes clear that treasure hunting is a dangerous business…

Jewell Parker Rhodes, a distinguished author and professor, is known for her books for young people that make Black history come alive. This updated Treasure Island is well researched, smart, and fast paced. Children will enjoy reading the book, and, at the same time, they will learn about the history of the Black residents of Manhattan—free and enslaved alike. An important book by an acclaimed author!

Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of six adult novels: Voodoo Dreams, Magic City, Douglass’ Women, Season, Moon, and Hurricane, as well as the memoir Porch Stories: A Grandmother’s Guide to Happiness, and two writing guides, Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors and The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Non-Fiction. Jewell is also the author of seven books for youth including the New York Times bestsellers Ghost Boys and Black Brother, Black Brother. She has won the American Book Award, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, and the Jane Addams Peace Association Book Award. Jewell is the Founding Artistic Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Narrative Studies Professor and Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair at Arizona State University. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Carnegie-Mellon University. She lives in Seattle, Washington.


 "Whether or not readers are familiar with Robert Louis Stevenson’s original, they’ll be drawn into this accessible, action-packed adventure, full of mysteries, pirates, skateboard drama, and a whole new underground world. The artful, verse-like sentence structures intentionally and effectively evoke the “resonance and rhythm of the African American oral tradition. Daringly honors old heroes, stunningly integrating past and present with pitch-perfect success." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Aarrgh, mateys, there do be a trove of long lost loot in this modern-day version of the Robert Louis Stevenson yarn! Rhodes doesn’t so much rewrite the classic as borrow elements from it wholesale. The whirl of conflicting loyalties, quick pacing, acts of courage and cowardice, pirates, and high stakes create the same rich, compelling mix that makes the original such a timeless read." -Booklist (starred review)

"In this contemporary spin on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Rhodes employs lush descriptive language and engaging dialogue teeming with historical facts, and crafts a sincere protagonist whose compassion for others radiates from the pages of this high-octane romp." -Publishers Weekly

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