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Item - Sunken Treasure

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(First printing)
(First printing)
(First printing)
(First printing)
(Special school edition)
(Later (red cover) printing)

Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers — no. 3
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Skylark 1 Box Set (Collection)
Translated Into: Batık define (Turkish)
Suche nach dem Piratenschatz (German)
El tesoro sumergido (Spanish)
O tesouro perdido (Portuguese)
El tresor submergit (Catalan)
Author: Packard, Edward
Illustrator: Granger, Paul (pseudonym used by Hedin, Don)
Date: April, 1982 (First printing)
ISBNs: 0553050184 / 9780553050189 (Hardcover edition)
0553151509 / 9780553151503 (First printing)
0553152084 / 9780553152081 (Special school edition, Later (red cover) printing)
Length: 52 pages
Number of Endings: 8
Cover Price: US$1.75 (First printing, Special school edition)
US$1.95 (Later (red cover) printing)
LC Cataloging in Publication Summary: The reader is asked to make choices which will determine the outcome of a search for sunken treasure.
Demian's Thoughts:

This is the first book in the series that seems to have a point to it; the search for treasure definitely gives the story direction. The book is also notable for being set in the 18th century.

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

Pirate lore has been a cornerstone of kid lit for centuries, and Edward Packard brings it to the Bantam Skylark Choose Your Own Adventure series with Sunken Treasure. Living in 1793 Boston, you are captivated by the everyday sight of tall ships moving in and out of harbor. Your friend Nick's father is Captain Frye of the Eagle schooner, and you love his dramatic tales of the high seas. You are pulled into a sea yarn of your own when you discover a treasure map in your parents' attic. Captain Frye is currently away on the Eagle; should you wait for his return to ask about the map, or go to harbor and inquire of another sailor?

The man you ask invites you aboard the Caliban to show his captain the map. Too bad the captain is Red Eye the pirate, who abducts you to help search for the treasure. Red Eye has coveted Blue Beard's famous lost hoard a long while, and this map indicates its location. Forced to serve as lookout in the crow's-nest of the Caliban, after weeks of sailing you spot a distant pair of American Navy schooners. You could warn Red Eye, but that would indicate you truly are loyal to the pirates...which might be your undoing. If you give no warning, the Navy men pass without incident, but you spot Captain Frye's ship headed your way. You could try grabbing the wheel of the Caliban and running it aground on a reef, sinking the pirates and earning yourself rescue. If you aren't that bold, the pirates might get the jump on Captain Frye, but will Red Eye's treachery be his own demise?

Waiting for Captain Frye at the start leads to quick confirmation that the map points to the treasure lost when Blue Beard's ship, the Hecate, sank half a century ago off the coast of Tama Island. You, your friend Nick, Captain Frye, and first mate Mr. Pym set sail on the Eagle, following the map. The treasure could be underwater or on the island; do you wish to explore the reef or on land? While investigating the reef with Mr. Pym, you are sobered by the approach of the Caliban pirate ship. Trying to escape in the skiff while Mr. Pym defends the Eagle could take you far from the action, but a boat with enough firepower to end Red Eye's threat may rescue you. Instead you could hide aboard the Eagle and hope Mr. Pym wards off the pirates, but that may lead to captivity.

Going ashore with Nick to look for the treasure offers plenty of area to search, but the sight of the Caliban gliding toward you is a bad omen. You could run to alert Nick, but you'll tumble into a deep pit with alligators. One wrong step will make you a meal, but a clever trick gets you out in time to see Nick and his father...with the treasure. Rather than run off to warn Nick about the pirate ship, you can venture into the tunnel you found, which contains a chest engraved with a warning: whoever steals Blue Beard's treasure will be cursed to die young. After getting Nick's attention, you find the chest is brimming with gold and silver, but the Caliban has arrived. You might be able to shelter in the cave long enough for a more formidable foe to eliminate Red Eye, but even if the pirates make landfall, he may be stopped from taking the treasure. Do you believe in Blue Beard's curse? The pirates do. Is that enough for you to forsake riches beyond your wildest dreams?

There are one or two premature, unsatisfying endings, but Sunken Treasure is a good pirate story for how short it is, and Edward Packard works in a few thought nuggets that help it stand taller. The book's scope doesn't allow comparison with classic pirate works by Robert Louis Stevenson, Richard Hughes, or Charles Boardman Hawes, but if you want action and intrigue on the sea, you're in the right place. Sunken Treasure isn't as good as Edward Packard's prior Bantam Skylark entry, The Circus, but it should hold one's attention irrespective of age.

More reviews by KenJenningsJeopardy74

Waluigi Freak 99's Thoughts:

I read this book years and years ago. It's pretty average from what I remember of it. It's great for younger readers, but one thing that always stood out to me was the fact that this is one of the few books in a series geared towards younger readers where the reader can actually die!

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Users Who Own This Item: Ardennes, dave2002a, Demian, duckhugger, exaquint (blue), Garrick Muttley, Gartax, Gurvo, Himynameistony, horrorbusiness, jeremydouglass, jharvey79, JoshW, katzcollection (paperback), KenJenningsJeopardy74, kinderstef (white cover, hardback, big size), kleme (PDF), knginatl (blue, blue "school edition", blue "book fair", blue Perma-Bound, red), mattender, nelsondesign, newt3425 (First printing blue), Nomad, ntar, Oberonbombadil (US 5th (blue)), plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, resurgens, RonaldFrobnitz, rtaylor352, Ryuran333 (Hardcover), spragmatic, strawberry_brite, ThaRid (2), ThisIslandEarth, twar, Uraniborg, waktool (Original, 1st printing (blue, $1.75); Original, 5th printing (blue, $1.95))
Users Who Want This Item: exaquint (blue school edition, blue book fair, red), Ffghtermedic, NEMO
Users with Extra Copies: exaquint - blue
ntar - two

Known Editions

First printing
Special school edition
Later (red cover) printing
Hardcover edition

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