“The Lunch Money Treasure” by Gary Rivera

“The Lunch Money Treasure” by Gary Rivera 683 1024 Reader Views Kids

The Lunch Money Treasure

Gary Rivera
Outskirts Press (2023)
ISBN: 978-1977262943
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (10/2023)

“The Lunch Money Treasure: A Smoochie Adventure ” by Gary Rivera is an exciting teen and young adult mystery that infuses life back into the genre. There is also a heartwarming theme to it, as the plot revolves around looking for buried treasure from two decades ago that will help reunite two lost loves, one of whom is a bully. A reward also comes from solving this mystery. If you put yourself in the protagonist’s shoes, you will find yourself solving this mystery with only four words as your clue, and with the help of your good friends. You would have to face embarrassment and teasing, but the hard part is that you would be doing all of this just as middle school is starting, and you are 11 years old. Oh, and your name is Smoochie, which is interesting.

Rivera has his finger on the pulse of what makes a good mystery for young readers; adventure, fun characters, friendship, and of course, a mystery that is highly relatable and involves more than just money itself. Wrapped up in all this fun, you will find life lessons that readers can apply to their own lives. If you like finding nuggets of wisdom where it’s least expected, then you will enjoy finding these little treasures as you read.

It’s a simple story well told with drama and suspense and holds your attention until the very end. The clues provided along the way keep you involved in the mystery, not just on the sidelines. I think adults will enjoy this book too, as it may resonate with their childhoods. I enjoy the way the mystery is set up from the beginning with the clue of the Triple Square so that you know exactly what is happening as it unfolds.

The characters are also well-constructed. The use of a bully in the story is quite effective. My favorite part of the author’s writing is the dialogue. He really has an ear for the way people speak, especially children. One thing fans may want to know is that Smoochie, B, Iris, and Marco will make a comeback in the sequel, “The Reluctant Bully.” For fun reading with good life lessons, “The Lunch Money Treasure: A Smoochie Adventure ” by Gary Rivera is one you don’t want to miss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.