"Move over Nancy Drew, there's a new girl in town!"
Young Adult is experiencing another boom in popularity. A
decade ago, there was an explosion in YA sales with R.L,
Stine, sort of the Stephen King for the YA set. I was
running a bookstore at the time and saw children and teens
discovering the joy of reading thanks to this talented
author. Since then there have been quite a few super YA
books to come along, likely helped by the mega-million
dollar, moneymaker Harry Potter series. Brynn Chapman's
books The Bride of Blackbeard and her penname R.R. Smythe
Into the Woods, really caught my eye, reminiscent of M.
Night Shyamalan. Another was Jacquie Rogers' Faery Special
Romances. A new release that shows promise is Amber Dawn
Bell's start to a YA vampire series, Cave of Terror.
Another talented author launches a series guaranteed to
delight -- Lillian Cauldwell (Internet Voice Radio) with
Anna-Mae Mysteries. It's a wonderful multi-cultural story,
a super first book to what promises to be a wonderful
mystery series for YA readers. The heroine of the series,
Miss Anna Mae Botts, is a typical twelve-year- old, who
comes with the typical nine-year-old brother. Only their
typical first day of school is anything but normal. They
run into a ghost, who seems determined to lead them on a
merry chase, dropping clues to the children along the way.
It seems the ghost holds the secret to the lost treasure of
the Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. A fire and
more paranormal occurrences, set Anna Mae, her brother, and
Anne Mae's best friend, Raul, off to learning history as
they unravel the "trail of breadcrumbs" left by the
Imaginative, especially inventive in giving YA readers an
interest into the Civil War, Anna Mae sounds the note to
Nancy Drew to move over babe ¯ there's a new girl in town!
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted January 26, 2009
**A PNR Staff Top Pick**
Three 'tween sneaker sleuths face the unsolved mystery of Jefferson Davis'lost gold treasure with a little bit of help from a ghostly black fist and divining rods.
Twelve-year-old Anna Mae Botts, her eight-year-old brother Malcolm, and Anna Mae's best friend Raul Garcia, face a ghostly black fist on their first day of school. It blocks their entrance into school, while dropping paper clues about Jefferson Davis' lost Civil War gold. Things get more complicated when a school fire occurs.
Mysterious events soon overtake Raul, Malcolm, and Anna Mae at school as well as at home. Rats, alphabet noodle clues, floating chalk, and phantom false-bottom wagons lead the tweens to travel the same route by car that was taken by Jefferson Davis and his gold-laden wagon train.
With divining rods given to her by her granma, computer printouts, and Spirit Journey memories that take her back to a Civil War past, Anna Mae, Raul, and Malcolm find Jefferson Davis' lost gold treasure, part of it buried on Chennault Plantation and more of it in a vacant lot on the outskirts of Warthen, Georgia.