Treasure Hunter's Handbookby Liza Gardner Walsh
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The Treasure Hunter’s Handbook is for kids and families who love to explore the world around them. This book highlights the appeal of treasure hunting as a fun family activity that encourages kids to get outside. Parents and educators are concerned about children’s rapidly increasing screen time and books that get kids in nature are very popular.
The book also seizes on the popularity and market success of pirates, for who hasn’t seen a young child wearing an eye patch hoisting a Jolly Roger flag. Books on pirates are constantly in circulation at the library but I have yet to find a book on treasure hunting for kids. I also feel that expanding the typical “pirate booty” concept into something more productive and educational will appeal to parents, grandparents, and educators.
Athough not an exclusive ‘Maine’ book, all of the activities will be field tested in Maine. Just as fairy houses can be built anywhere, kids can hunt for treasure even in their own backyards, allowing for wide accessibility and the making of a great gift book.
The book will cover the following topics:
Myths and legends of buried pirate treasure: This section will share some of the stories such as Captain Kidd’s loot on Jewell Island and Pirate Ned Lowe’s treasure captured from a Spanish galleon and dropped in the middle of the pond on Pond Island.
Panning for gold: Building on C.J. Stevens book, The Next Bend in the River: Gold Mining in Maine, and the allure of the Gold Rush, panning for gold is making a comeback and is a great activity for kids.
Mining for minerals and gemstones: We Walk on Jewels: Treasure Hunting in Maine for Gems and Minerals by Jean Blakemore describes in a very detailed way the many areas in Maine where gems and minerals can be found. The Treasure Hunter’s Handbook can provide some of the information in a more simplistic and user-friendly way.
Metal Detecting: Many kids have their own metal detectors but there are entire organizations that focus on this past time. This section will tell some of the stories of amazing treasure found using this simple device.
Map and compass reading: Every child should learn these basic skills and this section will explain the basics of cartography and orienteering.
Geocaching and letter boxing: Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Letter boxing is a low tech version that combines navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry.
Found treasures: Hunting for everyday treasures such as sea glass, sea shells, four-leaf clovers, arrowheads, and fossils.
However it’s definedpirates’ gold; buried metal discovered with a metal detector; geocaches or letterboxes; rocks, minerals and gems; or sea glass, fossils or meteoritesthis book has solid advice on how to find it. Six chapters address each of these treasures in turn, discussing how to find them, equipment needed, methodologies, and some safety guidelines and codes of conduct. Some history is thrown in throughout, and a scattering of personal stories and interviews adds a personal touch. While Walsh states that the “best treasure hunters work from feelings of intuition, which means that you just know something without really knowing why,” she also points kids to local resources for finding treasures that don’t rely on intuition, and a bibliography at the end provides other informational sources to consult. While the text often highlights the state of Maine, the ideas and advice presented could apply in almost any area. Vocabulary is well-defined within the text, and full-color photos throughout show kids actively engaged in treasure hunting, their tools and many of the finds that are possible.
Let the treasure hunting begin!
Gr 3–6—This fun book details some unique activities that will offer a sense of adventure, exploration, and perceived independence, though the author is clear on the necessity of safety precautions and adult involvement. A theme of discovering treasures runs through the book, including pirate booty, gold, metals, rocks, minerals, gemstones, sea glass, fossils, and meteorites. A chapter is devoted to each kind of treasure hunt, with straightforward instructions on how to proceed and necessary equipment. Though family-friendly vacations might be planned around the pursuit of a specific treasure, Walsh suggests that hunting can easily take place in the woods, beaches, or streams close to home and even in one's own backyard. One section of the book is devoted to geocaching and letterboxing, two challenging activities that require unraveling clues or codes to locate a hiding spot with treasures contained within; once the spot is discovered, the hunter adds to the treasures, thus participating in a community of like-minded people. This book is a treasure trove itself when it comes to noting nonfiction text features. A wonderful introduction to some fun-filled, unique forms of recreation, the book uses exposition, photos, bullet lists, and text boxes. While instructions are provided for making an old-fashioned treasure map, more sample maps might have been a useful addition to this otherwise excellent book. One other minor drawback is the absence of an index.—Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT
There is treasure all around, and Walsh gives pointers on how to find it.However it’s defined—pirates’ gold; buried metal discovered with a metal detector; geocaches or letterboxes; rocks, minerals and gems; or sea glass, fossils or meteorites—this book has solid advice on how to find it. Six chapters address each of these treasures in turn, discussing how to find them, equipment needed, methodologies, and some safety guidelines and codes of conduct. Some history is thrown in throughout, and a scattering of personal stories and interviews adds a personal touch. While Walsh states that the “best treasure hunters work from feelings of intuition, which means that you just know something without really knowing why,” she also points kids to local resources for finding treasures that don’t rely on intuition, and a bibliography at the end provides other informational sources to consult. While the text often highlights the state of Maine, the ideas and advice presented could apply in almost any area. Vocabulary is well-defined within the text, and full-color photos throughout show kids actively engaged in treasure hunting, their tools and many of the finds that are possible.Let the treasure hunting begin! (Nonfiction. 7-12)
- Down East Books
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 37 MB
- This product may take a few minutes to download.
- Age Range:
- 6 - 12 Years
Meet the Author
Liza Gardner Walsh has worked as a children’s librarian, high-school English teacher, writing tutor, museum educator, and she holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College. She lives with her family in Camden, Maine.
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Every child dreams of finding buried treasure. Liza Gardner Walsh has created a wonderful manual for the hunt. This treasure hunting manual is written for children and families. With wonderful photographs by Jennifer Smith-Mayo, children are taught the art of treasure hunting in an easy to understand and respectful way. How-to's, tips and tricks, and terms make treasure hunting sound fun. Treasure hunting methods include: pirate treasure, panning for gold, metal detecting, geocaching and letterboxing, rocks and minerals, sea glass, fossils, meteorites and more. This is may be one of the best manuals for kids I've read. While this book is well written and fun, there is one point that bothered me. It pertains to finding artifacts. Walsh encourages kids to dig things up and be their own scientist. She forgets, however, that many of the fields have standards. For example, archaeologists don't just dig things up - the context and how and where things were found are just as important - if not more - than the actual discovery. Without documentation, a find just is not as valuable. This is not mentioned, that I recall. I'm concerned about the valuable information that will be lost when the sciences have improved so much. The author sites Mary Anning, a girl who was a paleontologist at age 11 in England. What the author doesn't stress is that in 1810 just digging up things and keeping it was what people did. There was no context. Finding them was certainly a feet, but not explaining that today things would be measured, photographed, drawn, soil sampled, painstakingly dusted and more is a bit misleading and could be detrimental to science, the scientific community, and more importantly, to history. Walsh created a fun how-to guide for kids and families on how to treasure hunt. Hunting for treasure has long captured our imagination. Through a multitude of methods, the reader will certainly be able to find the perfect method for them. I can't wait to start the hunt!
I was very pleased with the book. It is an interesting and lively introduction to treasure hunting as an outdoor activity for children. Included in treasure hunting is not only looking for buried pirate treasure, but also panning for gold, letterboxing, geocaching, metal detecting and hunting for rocks, minerals and sea glass. The book is a good introduction to the various activities, laying out what is needed for supplies, equipment and preparation (including getting property owners permission before exploring!), as well as some hard earned advice. My personal favorite was to leave the rock identification books in the car- they only get heavy lugging them around, and it is easier and more fun to simply bring the specimens to the car for identification if curious about them. And although this book is designed for younger readers, older youngsters or mixed grades of children will enjoy it as well. This book is especially well prepared for home schooling a family of different aged children. And indeed, much of the book seemed to be aimed at the teacher, parent or scout leader as an introduction and overview to these activities. Perhaps the reading level is high for the targeted group, but this is not the case for advanced readers and gifted students, who may particularly like this practical application of book advice to real world explorations. I also liked her spelling out the code of conduct for some of these activities, to show the kids that not only can they take pleasure from them, but they must also give back and help with the pleasure of others who come afterwards and who also share the sport. Finally, Liza Gardner Walsh does the best thing of all in this book. She gives and introduction to the activities, but leaves the reader wanting more. After reading, the kids will want to both to try out the activities, and to learn more about them. Her only failing is not putting the final line in the book: "If you would like to learn more about these and other activities, speak to your local school and public librarian!"