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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
Swanage Gold: A Jake Barton Adventure is Volume 1 in the children’s series by Adrian Keitch. Jake wishes he didn’t have to stay with family friends, Bill and Win, in Swanage while his mom works. His mood changes when he meets Becky and hears Bill’s tale about John Mowlem and George Burt who hid gold bullion in Swanage in the 1800s. Jake’s fascination with Bill’s gold heirloom watch inspires him to look for the treasure with Becky. Their research on the Internet and clues found in John Mowlem’s diary take them to local historical attractions, but the clues are difficult to decipher. They also attract the unwanted attention of pretentious Mark Abbott, who employs Jake’s mom. As their treasure hunt uncovers more baffling clues, Jake and Becky find themselves in a dangerous situation.
Swanage Gold is a terrific action/mystery for preteens. Jake is a very smart, but snoopy kid who will disobey instructions when something bugs him. Becky knows how to get her way at times, but she is a sweet kid. Adrian Keitch has written an exciting treasure hunting adventure that contains historical facts about Swanage and its two local heroes, John Mowlem and George Burt. The moderately paced story will reel young readers into the riveting activities that Becky and Jake experience. Swanage Gold ends suspensefully as the adventure continues in Volume 2 of the Jake Barton Adventure series. Readers who want to know more about John Mowlem and George Burt will find the acknowledgement data relevant.