Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Treasure

The Treasure, written by Glen Sic, is a story about a young boy named Casey who finds a priceless baseball card in a box of assorted baseball memorabilia in a local sporting goods shop. Any item in the box is priced at $1 each; the whole box can be purchased for $200. When he finds the card, he carefully hides it amongst other items in the box and asks the store keeper to put the whole box aside for him until he gets money to pay for it.

The only way he can raise the money is to sell his possessions. He doesn’t have a job or much of value except his sports equipment, which includes a skate board, a bicycle, roller blades, baseball cards and books, his bat and glove, and an autographed baseball. But, he decides to sell ALL his possessions in hopes of raising enough money to buy the box.

He decides to have a garage sale. With the help of his dad, he sets the prices for his goods. If he sells everything, he will have exactly $200 to buy what he wants. His dad helps him advertise the sale. When the big day arrives, he manages to sell everything and raise the necessary funds.

Before he pays for the box of stuff, he tells his parents why he wants it so much. His mother and father tell him he can buy the box but he must tell the shopkeeper about the priceless baseball card. Otherwise, it would be dishonest to pay so little for something so valuable.

After paying for his purchase, he shows the shopkeeper what was in the box. The shopkeeper is very surprised to see such a valuable card in a box of stuff in his store. The boy gives the card to the shopkeeper, but the shopkeeper gives it back to him. When questioned why, the shopkeeper thanks Casey for his honesty and tells him he can’t think of a better owner for the baseball card.

At the end of the story, Casey’s father says he is reminded of the parable found in Matthew 13:44: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

The water-color illustrations by Aga Korfanty are done with a lot of pinks, yellows, oranges and purples, colors more appropriate for a book about a girl not a boy. However, they are expressive and faithful to the text.

What I Like: This is the kind of story a young baseball fan would enjoy.

What I Dislike: The story is supposed to be a contemporary retelling of the parable mentioned. In this story, a young boy does indeed find a treasure in a box, hides it amongst other items, and then sells all his toys and comes back to purchase the box. But, I don’t think the idea works very well in a story of this nature.

There are several aspects of the story that I find questionable. For instance: Why would a young boy want to sell ALL his sports equipment, including an autographed baseball that his father had just bought for him, to buy the entire box of sports memorabilia that costs $200? Why not just buy the one card that he wanted for only $1.

Also, when he has his garage sale, he prices everything so that if he sells it all, he will have exactly $200. He manages to sell everything and make the $200 needed to purchase the box. What are the chances that he would be able to sell everything he had at a garage sale and make exactly the amount he needed to buy what he wanted?

And, what is he going to do with the baseball? That question is never answered. He sold all his sports equipment and he now has a priceless baseball card, but the reader is never told what he plans to do with it.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: The publisher doesn’t give a recommended age group for this book, but I would say 5-9.

Publisher Info: Lighthouse Publishing, 2009; ISBN: 9781935079279; Paperback, $9.95.

Buy now at $9.95!

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