The Mysterious Treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton

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What does a guy do when his best friend starts doing things that are completely out of character? In the case of Luke McAllister, you can’t do anything – until you figure out exactly what it is that is different. The fact that his best friend is a girl complicates matters a heap. Nothing makes sense when RaeNell Stephens, the girl that has “the best curve ball he’s ever seen,” starts blushing and acting like a durned female. All of this at the beginning of the summer to end all summers’ too. This is the summer that Luke, RaeNell, and their friend Farley Midkiff set out to locate, and cash in on a rogue Civil War soldier’s stolen one million dollar Union payroll. Undaunted by thousands of scholars and fortune seekers having looked unsuccessfully for the treasure for a hundred years, the three 12 year-old friends search diligently for themselves. What they find is an adventure – though maybe not what, or where, they expected!  (-synopsis from Goodreads)

Luke, RaeNell, and Farley are the best of friends in a much simpler time and place.  When school ends and summer comes, the three decide to set off in search of the lost treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton.  The treasure has been lost for a hundred years and many have searched for it but none have found it.  The trio begins searching books in the library and come across a map of where the treasure is buried.

All the while RaeNell, the only girl in the group, suddenly begins acting like a girl after years of being one of the boys.  When the going gets tough, RaeNell starts tearing up.  When the gang is ready to give up Luke suddenly realizes where the map leads.  The three set off on a crazy adventure and actually end up finding the treasure!  The only problem is, the treasure isn’t what they expected.

I enjoyed the simple story of the three best friends and it had a ring of truth to it.  Luke was the strong one, both physically and mentally, RaeNell is the one with the book smarts, and Farley was sweet and willing to go along with anything.  Their hunt for the treasure is like any child’s treasure hunt, though the ending was much larger then most.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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