Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 4–6—Blessed with an active imagination, 10-year-old Christa Boyd-Adams and 11-year-old Alex Clark take to the outdoors, pretending to climb Mount Everest with plastic cup oxygen masks, butter knife ice picks, duct-taped fork boot spikes, and walkie-talkie cassette tapes. Life at the summer cabin is Christa's favorite place to be, but things change when her father loses his job as a history teacher and the cabin goes up for sale. The friends plot to undermine any attempt to sell it. During one of their escapades, the duo unearths money hidden long ago, and old stories of Al Capone burying his loot start to surface. Christa and Alex want to find the cash to save the cabin, but they discover others have joined the game. Readers will enjoy the tongue-in-cheek humor and fast-paced story that revels in outdoor summertime fun. Family issues drive the heart of the narrative, and Christa, described as immature by her family, must face events as they unfold. Lovable and somewhat prone to mishap, Christa learns about the angst a struggling family must endure and the dynamics of true friendship from young and old. VERDICT Lighter than Gennifer Choldenko's Al Capone Does My Shirts (Putnam, 2004), this is an entertaining middle grade mystery.—Robyn Gioia, Antilles Middle School, Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2015 *Starred Review* The only time 10-year-old Christa feels she belongs is when she is at her family’s cabin in Wisconsin. But to her dismay, this will be their last summer on Whitefish Lake, because her father has lost his job and they cannot afford to keep the cabin. Next door, a boy named Alex has just moved in, and the two team up to do some sleuthing and treasure hunting. Rumor has it that Al Capone once hid a suitcase of cash in the area, and if they can find it, Crista’s family might be able to hang on to their cabin. Tougas, known best for her historical nonfiction (Little Rock Girl, 1957, 2011), has crafted a charming story of family history and personal connections (both lost and found) that is reminiscent of Blue Balliett and the Penderwicks’ adventures. Christa is a delightful protagonist—spunky, witty, and self-confident, in spite of her lack of social graces—and her companionship with Alex is well drawn. More thoughtful than most mysteries, this novel addresses serious issues (financial challenges and strained family relationships, in particular) without bogging down the narrative, and its resolution is both rewarding and poignant. Christa and Alex prove a winning duo, whose quest for Capone’s lost loot will keep readers glued to the page. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.