The Search for the Homestead Treasure (Hardcover)

A Mystery

By Ann Treacy

Univ Of Minnesota Press, 9780816699568, 160pp.

Publication Date: May 19, 2016

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Aunt Ida would boil him in the laundry cauldron if she knew where he was. On the long wagon ride to the old homestead, she warned them about the Gypsies they’d encountered, and now here he was, ducking into a colorful caravan with Samson, a Gypsy boy he had met . . . underwater. And it was the best thing to happen since they’d moved from Stillwater to this lonely, hard place to try to reclaim the decrepit family farm.

Missing his friends and life as it was before his brother’s accident and his mother’s silent grief, fourteen-year-old Martin Gunnarsson is trying to hold his family together on the homestead where his ancestors died of diphtheria in 1865. The only one who had survived was his father, a baby found in the arms of his older sister Cora. But somehow rumors of a treasure on the farm survived, too, and when Martin discovers Aunt Cora’s journal in a musty trunk in the hayloft, he thinks it might give him a clue. But what exactly is he looking for?

Reading Cora's diary in secret, and just as stealthily becoming fast friends with Samson and his Roma family, Martin slowly begins to see his new surroundings, and himself, a little differently. But only when he recognizes that his small sister, for so long a mere pest, holds the true key does Martin start to understand where the real treasure might be found.

About the Author

Ann Treacy is coauthor (with Margi Preus) of A Book of Grace. Her writing has appeared in Lake Superior Magazine as well as Highlights for Children magazine. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

Praise For The Search for the Homestead Treasure: A Mystery

"Here is a real treasure. Authentic and beautifully told, The Search for the Homestead Treasure weaves together the endearing story of an unlikely friendship with a compelling and intriguing mystery. Ann Treacy brings to vivid life the hardship and rewards of early twentieth-century rural Minnesota in this gem of a book."—Margi Preus, author of Enchantment Lake*

"Martin is a quiet character who will not let go of my heart! While his story is one bound in family and history, his struggles and grit will speak to every modern young reader who knows loss and heartbreak. Treacy’s message of perseverance and hope make Martin a protagonist to root for and a boy never to forget."—Helen Hemphill, author of The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones

"Ann Treacy shows a gift for mystery shot through with historical details, but never overwhelmed by the past. Reading The Search for the Homestead Treasure made me want to find lost treasure and—almost—made me want to grab hold of the plow with Martin, clearing the land for planting and clearing a path for him into the grown-up world."—Gwenyth Swain, author of Wanda Gág: Storybook Artist and Riding to Washington

"Set in rural Minnesota in 1903, this evocative effort neatly weaves in period details. It reflects the demands of farming and the significant prejudice that was harbored by the white farmers against the Roma, documented both in the story that depicts their culture and in an informative author's note. A good bet for fans of historical fiction."—Kirkus Reviews

"[A] tightly written novel."—Publishers Weekly

"Ann Treacy loves the craft of writing-- not just the flow of words and the stories that bubble up, but truly crafting the right phrases, tone, and pace."—Lake Superior Magazine

"A dramatic and well-paced tale, rich with an array of incidents involving vivid characters."—Picks and Reads for Kids

"Extensive research and a compelling protagonist make this title a great fit for classes exploring their family trees."—Booklist

"Infused with historical details... this book has regional, genealogical, and classroom appeal."—VOYA

"Written in short chapters, the steady plot moves along with suspenseful episodes and events appropriate to the time period."—School Library Journal

"Highly recommended for classrooms and middle grade readers who want more than your average pioneer story!"—Beth’s Book-Nook Blog

"A story of hard work, grit, determination and surviving tough times."—Hibbing Daily Tribune