The Treasure of Green Knowe by Lucy Boston: Treasure hunting and time travel
Second book in the Green Knowe Chronicles series
Overall rating: 9/10
Quality of writing: 10/10
Concerning content (language, violence, etc.): minimal
Age level: 8 and up
Lucy Boston continues to detail the adventures of Toseland (“Tolly”) at the house Green Knowe (based on the author’s own home in Huntingdonshire, England) in the second book of the Green Knowe Chronicles. With a plot driven by Tolly’s search for a generations-old family treasure, The Treasure of Green Knowe will not disappoint fans of the first book, with plenty of mysteries, flashbacks to Green Knowe’s earlier history, and encounters with previous inhabitants of the house. An engaging and distinctly “English” book, The Treasure of Green Knowe’s unique setting and atmosphere make it an enjoyable read for readers of all ages.
The plot of The Treasure of Green Knowe is more cohesive and driven than that of the last book in the series (The Children of Green Knowe), since it is centered primarily around Tolly’s hunt for the family treasure and his adventures along the way. Lucy Boston also avoids simply repeating the plot of The Children of Green Knowe by introducing many new characters, including Caxton, Susan, Jacob, and Sefton. Overall, Boston does a good job keeping the plot fresh and interesting, while keeping her focus primarily on the unique atmosphere of the story. (8/10)
The characters in The Treasure of Green Knowe are a thoughtful and well-developed mixture of old (Tolly, Grandmother Oldknow) and new (Susan, Jacob). Boston also deals with mature topics such as slavery, blindness, and cruelty in an age-appropriate way through several individuals in the book, demonstrating her skill in creating convincing and complex characters while staying true to the book’s age level. Overall, the characters in this book are well-developed and quite complex for the age level of the book. (9/10)
This book is not a particularly difficult read, although Boston’s descriptive language could possibly be tricky for younger readers. The only other potential issue to consider is the repeated use of flashbacks to the house’s earlier history, which, again, could be confusing to younger readers. However, most will not find this book too challenging. (4/10)
Quality of writing
Fans of the Green Knowe Chronicles will not be disappointed by The Treasure of Green Knowe. Boston uses vivid descriptive language, creative similes and metaphors, and engaging flashbacks strategically placed within the main frame story. Boston also writes a uniquely “British” atmosphere into the book, in part by tying the storyline to the old manor house “Green Knowe,” which behaves almost like a character at several points. Overall, the quality of writing in The Treasure of Green Knowe is excellent and deserves a 10/10 rating.
For the most part, the book is quite clean in terms of language; there is one instance in which a character is called “an ass,” but this is clearly intended to be taken in the more archaic sense (i.e. a donkey). This book does deal with more mature issues than The Children of Green Knowe, including slavery and blindness, but Boston handles these issues in an entirely age-appropriate way. The Treasure of Green Knowe is quite wholesome in general, and includes minimal mature content.
While The Treasure of Green Knowe does deal with somewhat more complex interactions and issues than the first book in the series, Boston handles these factors well and keeps the story true to its age rating. This book is recommended for ages 8 and up.