Mystery of the Fallen Treasure created by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Alden children are in the Pacific Northwest and they’re learning about planes and jewelry. It doesn’t hurt that Watch gets a few pointers on diving as well. When the children first make it to the northwest, they find a yellow backpack in the woods. Being the good detectives that they are, they take pictures of the scene. Soon they find out that the backpack belongs to a woman named Twila. She has a jewelry shop in town. She makes unique pieces of jewelry. The yellow backpack full of jewelry was supposed to be delivered to a nearby town via small plane. The woman who flew the plane, Adalita, is missing.
It soon becomes apparent that Adalita is not missing. She’s looking for the yellow backpack, which fell out of her plane. There’s an expensive necklace missing from the backpack. Twila says that Adalita must have taken it, but it’s ok because she has insurance. The children soon begin snooping around. The plane door was fixed. Why did it come open? Isn’t it strange that Twila wanted to shut the airplane door herself? What about the dragon earring the kids found where the backpack landed? Eventually, it all makes sense.
What I liked
I do find it interesting that whoever is writing these books makes a point to be accurate about a lot of things. This book explains, a bit, the process of lost wax casting. In what other children’s book would you find those details?
This book also tackles the idea of insurance fraud, which may be a bit heavy for children, but the Alden children are going to run out of mysteries to solve and insurance fraud isn’t entirely a bad idea for a mystery.
What I didn’t like
The Aldens lifestyle is unrealistic. I mean, what does their grandfather do that they can travel pretty much all over? Traveling takes money. Plane tickets for grandpa and four kids is not cheap. The dog went too, so the dog had to pay to go on the plane as well. Then there’s the cost of lodging and food. Does grandpa run a drug ring?
I’m actually kind of jealous of the Alden children and all their traveling. I would love to go to some of the places they’ve gone and I’ve only read a few of the books. The farthest I’ve been from my house in the past couple months is a short drive up part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Aldens seem like they’re going somewhere all the time.
I’m jealous of their traveling, but I do think it’s unrealistic for kids these days. Let’s face it, most of us don’t make a lot of money. Most of us don’t do a lot of traveling. Most of our families couldn’t have afforded to take us on vacations as often as the Alden children go places. Children can look up to the characters in their books and want to emulate their lives, but with a lifestyle like the Aldens’ it’s impossible for most kids who would read these books. I can imagine that at some point some kid has asked their parents why they can’t travel around like the Boxcar Children can. For most of us, vacation was a once a year thing, maybe, that involved long car rides, to some ordinary place. We didn’t go to the Pacific northwest. We went to Florida, to the beach, and we ate breaded fried fish, got sun burned, had to share a bed with a sibling, and we were supposed to have liked it.
I want to go to the Pacific Northwest.
Is insurance fraud a good mystery?
Did you ever find yourself jealous of the characters in children’s books that you read as a child?