Gerald Wilkins never considered himself a particularly exceptional thirteen-year-old. But that was before he inherited twenty billion pounds, a Caribbean island, a yacht, and three estates from a great-aunt he never knew. With this fortune, however, comes a letter. One from his great-aunt Geraldine. One that tells Gerald that she was murdered, and that it's up to him to find out why.
Along with his friends Ruby and Sam, Gerald embarks on a journey that will lead him from the British Museum to dodgy social clubs for the disgustingly rich to mansions in the English countryside to secret places far underground. Who was Geraldine Archer? And what secrets was she hiding? Unless Gerald, Sam, and Ruby can find out before the killer does, they may be next.
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Richard Newsome makes his debut with this novel, which won Text Publishing's inaugural Young Adult Writing Prize. The book started out as a bedtime story for his children, and he finally set it to paper over the course of ten years. In researching the story, he traveled across England, studying many of the places that appear in the book, and he traveled to India for the second book in the trilogy. He lives in Brisbane, Australia, with his wife and three children.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8 Aussie Gerald Archer Wilkins, 13, becomes a reluctant billionaire when he inherits his great-aunt Geraldine's fortune. In a letter, Geraldine predicts her murder and asks him to investigate it and its connection to the theft of a priceless diamond from the British Museum. Gerald dutifully visits the institution but encounters difficulties when a threatening man demands answers at knifepoint. The boy picks up the obligatory sidekicks, twins Sam and Ruby Valentine, when they rescue him. The teens move from London to the new billionaire's country estate as they identify the thieves, using a set of mystical clues. An action-packed denouement complete with rats, snakes, and booby traps uncovers the true villain in this planned trilogy. Newsome's story will appeal to fans of 39 Clues-style adventure-mysteries. While the dramatic escape scenes create a delicious urgency, the story is fairly predictable, and most readers will identify the villain quickly, despite the large cast of characters. Almost all of the twists occur when Gerald has a supernatural vision, so the plot lacks a degree of inner strength. Character development is nonexistent. The boy learns how to use a credit card and bribe taxi drivers, but his adventures instill in him no great resolve, except possibly a strong survival instinct. That said, many middle schoolers will enjoy this title without prompting, and adventure books are always in demand. Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT
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Book Description Walden Pond Press, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0061944904
Book Description WaldenPond, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0061944904
Book Description Walden Pond Pr, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 344 pages. 9.00x5.75x1.25 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0061944904
Book Description WaldenPond, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110061944904
Book Description WaldenPond. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0061944904 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0020133