Smells Like Treasure

By Suzanne Selfors

May 01, 2011 | Reviewed by TFK Kid Reporter Jamie Paterno Ostmann
 
 

Genre: Mystery

Number of pages: 407

What's the basic story line?

When I saw the dog on the cover of Smells Like Treasure, I thought, "Oh, great, not another book where the dog dies in the second-to-last chapter." But on the very first page, there was a letter from author Suzanne Selfors that says, "Dear Reader, Once again, let me assure you that this is a happy dog story. At no point in this story will a dog die. I hate stories about dogs that die, so I will never, ever write that kind of story. That is my solemn promise."

She had me hooked. The story revolves around a boy named Homer Pudding and his dog, Dog. Homer receives a letter from the Society of Legends, Objects, Secrets and Treasures (known as L.O.S.T.) that says the time has come to take his uncle's place as a treasure hunter. Everything goes as planned, until someone Homer knows all too well shows up to challenge his place. Now Homer and Dog must go on a dangerous quest to claim the membership.

Are the characters believable?

The characters in this story are pretty believable. One of the characters, Zelda, is 8 feet tall and drives a "cloudcopter," but the author uses her to convey the message that people aren't always what they seem. Zelda is a person with flaws. She has regrets, and she certainly has sadness. Homer gets bullied at school and is unhappy about his size, but he doesn't let that stop him from chasing his dream to become a treasure hunter. The characters' flaws make them seem real.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), how would you rate this book?

I rate this book a 10. It is the perfect balance of humor, peril, sadness, excitement and adventure. When someone betrays Homer, you feel for him, and it makes you want to fight for him. The best part about it (okay, maybe not the best part) is that the story is about a dog, and the dog lives to see another adventure! The dog is not shot or attacked by a mountain lion. It never develops a crazy disease; yet the story leaves you with a satisfaction equal, if not superior, to that of a story that demonstrates the circle of life. Take that, Where the Red Fern Grows.

 

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